The Mayo Clinic (http://www.mayoclinic.com/ and http://www.mayoclinic.org/) celebrated the twentieth anniversary of its Arizona campus a couple of years ago. To mark the occasion, six ladies, led by Dr. Caswell and Ms. Currier, created a quilt triptych about the flora, fauna and Mayo campus in Arizona. It has been displayed in Jacksonville at the Mayo Clinic this year and once again, it underlines how a sense of place, and knowledge of that place, can lead to utter beauty of creation.
Brilliant colours finely balanced and composed, wonderfully imaginative beading and often three-dimensional quilting, choices of fabrics to enhance each component in the quilt - the triptych is a visual feast. The six ladies knew their world. There are saguaro cactii, indigenous palo verde trees and flowers, quails, owls, the Arizona mountains and wide dramatic sunset skies as backdrop. Into this highly evocative and lyrical landscape, the Mayo buildings and different aspects of their medical world are woven and nestled. There is life and movement, yet enough detail to delight the eye on closer inspection. It is a wonderfully evocative, intricate piece, a real labour of love.
Watching people's reactions of wonder and delight as they spotted the quilt hanging in a wide corridor and came to have a closer look made me realise afresh how a passionately felt "sense of place" can be magical. The amazingly successful collaboration of these six needlewomen/artists has created a vibrant, intense work that will be long remembered. It is also an eloquent statement about the Mayo Clinic itself. It certainly made my day at the Mayo a memorable visit.