Anthropocene Blues

August 30th, 2017

“Anthropocene Blues” by Jack Lane, cover art by Mary Edna Fraser

You can purchase the poetry book “Athropocene Blues” on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Anthropocene-Blues-Poems-John-Lane/dp/0881466255/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1504122531&sr=8-1&keywords=anthropocene+blues

In the story of the earth, geologists tell us that around 12,000 years ago the planet shifted from the Pleistocene to the Holocene. There probably were poets to sing about that change, but of what they sang, we have no records. Even earlier, paintings on cave walls point toward an artistic response from our upstart species. These early artists painted the Pleistocene’s last great ice age herds thundering past.

Now John Lane’s traveling geologist sings a dawning epoch’s blues. The Anthropocene is upon us, and his poems show how humans believe they have become “the planet’s boss, the big chief, the emperor of air, diesel fuel, bow thrusters, and tax shelters…”

And if you don’t believe the times are changing, consider these poems–full of dead-on-the-road groundhogs and radial tires, carbon-spewing adventure travel, masturbating parrots, and mounds and mounds of garbage–as twenty-first-century objective correlatives John Keats might recognize.

But all is not collapse out there. The puny human voice William Faulkner praised in his Nobel acceptance speech sings amidst the 6th Great Extinction. These lyrics and narratives deposit the pleasures of contemporary poetry in the carbon record.

CATEGORIES: Art Work, Batiks, Books, News |

28th International Cartographic Conference exhibitions in Washington, DC

July 3rd, 2017

The Cartography and Geographic Information Society (CAGIS) invited us to display art for the 28th International Cartographic Conference of the International Cartographic Association, supporting two exhibitions in Washington, DC.

“cARTography” at Wardman Marriott (2660 Woodley Road NW) atrium installation is now open to the public, on display until July 6th at noon. Large-scale silks hang from the gridded ceiling.

“Rising Tides” at the Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery (1632 U Street, NW) opens July 5th, with a public reception Friday, July 7th, 7-9pm, on display until August 26. Gallery hours are Wednesday-Friday 11am – 5pm and Saturday, 11am – 3pm.

See a video shot during the load-in at the Healing Arts Gallery. We are honored to be working with director Spencer Dormitzer and wonderful staff at the Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery whose mission is to promote physical, emotional, and mental resources that lead to life-affirming changes for people affected by cancer.

I have so many friends and colleagues in DC. Please try to catch me while I’m town!

The Boundary at Moreland Village large-scale commission

April 21st, 2017

Longtime friend Joni Vanderslice at J. Banks Design commissioned a large-scale print installation for The Boundary at Moreland Village in Bluffton, SC. Rick Rhodes photographed the original “Hobcaw Barony” (batik on silk) at their Discovery Center in Georgetown, SC. Mary Edna’s assistant Celie Dailey digitally stitched the images of the multi-panel batik art. It was printed on an 18’2″ x 3’8″ canvas, at such high resolution that it looks like the original herringbone silk.

Many thanks to Joni and Laura Page at J. Banks, Rick Rhodes Photography and Celie for all their support!

Sumter “Lowcountry” opening and artist talk tonight!

February 23rd, 2017

“Lowcountry” Silks & Oils
February 23 – April 21
Opening reception February 23rd, 5:30 – 7:30 pm
Artist talk 6:30 pm
Sumter County Gallery of Art
Sumter, SC

Hummocks, oil on panel, 4″ x 12″

Edisto Island Preservation Alliance exhibit and talk

December 6th, 2016

As guest speaker for the Edisto Island Preservation Alliance Annual Meeting, I put up a one-day exhibit for my talk “Mary Edna Fraser, Artist, Environmentalist” on November 6th, 2016. Cecelia Dailey helped hang the batiks in their beautiful old barn. What a wonderful group of environmentally-minded folks gathered to continue conservation of the ACE Basin!

"Mary Edna Fraser, Artist, Environmentalist" Edisto Island Preservation Alliance Annual Meeting, November 2016

"Mary Edna Fraser, Artist, Environmentalist" Edisto Island Preservation Alliance Annual Meeting, November 2016

"Mary Edna Fraser, Artist, Environmentalist" Edisto Island Preservation Alliance Annual Meeting, November 2016

"Mary Edna Fraser, Artist, Environmentalist" Edisto Island Preservation Alliance Annual Meeting, November 2016

Mary Edna Fraser exhibits with photographer Cecelia Naomi Dailey at Spring Island, SC

December 5th, 2016

Mary Edna Fraser’s oils paintings, both plein air and large scale studio pieces, capture the vibrancy of the lowcountry landscape. Cecelia Naomi Dailey‘s photographs use a camera-less technique called lumens, where plant materials are collected and laid on top of photo paper to create a light impression. Both artists extensively research and ground-truth the locations they depict in their chosen media. Fraser is known for her aerial imagery and working with Duke geologist Orrin Pilkey to educate the public on the fragile coast. Dailey works with Citadel botanist Richard Porcher on books and multi-media presentations which explore the relationship between culture and natural history. Spring Island hosted the two as artists in residence where they stayed for a week (November 6-12th, 2016) exploring the woods and marshlands as inspiration for their work. Their collaborative talk “Artists as Activists” and exhibition opening was November 9th.

Mary Edna Fraser and Cecelia Naomi Dailey, Spring Island Artists in Residence, exhibition November 9, 2016

Cecelia Naomi Dailey, Spring Island Artist in Residence, exhibition November 9, 2016

Mary Edna Fraser, Spring Island Artist in Residence, exhibition November 9, 2016

Mary Edna Fraser, Spring Island Artist in Residence, exhibition November 9, 2016

Mary Edna Fraser, Spring Island Artist in Residence, exhibition November 9, 2016
Mary Edna Fraser and Cecelia Naomi Dailey, Spring Island Artists in Residence, exhibition November 9, 2016

Cecelia Naomi Dailey, Spring Island Artist in Residence, exhibition November 9, 2016

Anthropocene Magazine features Mary Edna’s batik

October 27th, 2016

An image of Mary Edna Fraser’s batik on silk “Hurricane Katrina” 50.625” x 53.75” was featured on the first page of the inaugural edition of Anthropocene Magazine, October 2016.

Anthropocene Magazine, October 2016, first page spread featuring Mary Edna Fraser's batik on silk "Hurricane Katrina"

Anthropocene Magazine, October 2016, featuring Mary Edna Fraser’s batik on silk “Hurricane Katrina”

"Hurricane Katrina" batik on silk, hanging on a decorative curtain rod in the studio with silk scarves below

“Hurricane Katrina” batik on silk, hanging on a decorative curtain rod in the studio with silk scarves below

Anthropocene Magazine, October 2016, cover

Anthropocene Magazine, October 2016, cover

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CATEGORIES: Art Work, Batiks, Educational, News |

Batik workshop at the University of North Texas

October 25th, 2016

The Fibers Department of the University of North Texas sponsored a 2-day batik workshop for graduate students facilitated by their professor Amie Adelman. The students were amazing. I hope to return to Denton to teach monotyping and have an exhibition.

UNT workshop with Mary Edna Fraser

UNT workshop with Mary Edna Fraser

UNT workshop with Mary Edna Fraser

UNT workshop with Mary Edna Fraser

UNT workshop with Mary Edna Fraser

UNT workshop with Mary Edna Fraser

UNT workshop with Mary Edna Fraser

UNT workshop with Mary Edna Fraser

UNT workshop with Mary Edna Fraser

UNT workshop with Mary Edna Fraser

NEW Ashley River 5′ x 3′ silk rug, made in Nepal with Atelier Lapchi

August 12th, 2016

Ashley River, our first rug, has just arrived! Two more rugs translated from batik on silk designs are currently in the works. Please inquire about price or make an appointment to come by the studio. Special orders for custom sizes and unique designs are available. Thanks to Nathan Tucker with his Lapchi Chicago team and the skilled weavers in Nepal for their expertise in producing these high quality rugs.

Ashley River, silk rug, Mary Edna Fraser, Atelier Lapchi Chicago

Each design is a limited edition of 100, numbered and signed by the artist, Mary Edna Fraser. Atelier Lapchi uses true Chinese silk, a renewable resource, dyed in small batches with Procion MX dyes, the same chemistry that Fraser uses for her original batiks on silk. Cotton sourced in Kathmandu, where the rugs are made, provides the warp and weft fibers onto which the silk is hand knotted. No latex or any coating is applied to the back, making a more environmentally friendly rug that will not yellow or harden, becoming an antique over time. Each loop knot is wrapped tightly around its warp and weft, making a beautiful enduring backing, finished with panels of cotton hand-sewn for a protective edge.

Each rug is certified by Goodweave.org to ensure that no child labor is used in the making of the product. Educational programs funded by Goodweave.org help children through “rehabilitation, day-care, literacy, formal schooling and vocational training” and they cite 3,700 children freed from the textile industry through their efforts.

Ashley River, 3' x 5', silk rug,  Mary Edna Fraser, Atelier Lapchi, 2016

Ashley River, silk rug, Mary Edna Fraser, Atelier Lapchi Chicago, Goodweave.org

Ashley River, 3' x 5', silk rug, Mary Edna Fraser, Atelier Lapchi, made in Nepal, 2016

Ashley River, 5′ x 3′ silk rug, Mary Edna Fraser, Atelier Lapchi, made in Nepal, 2016

Mary Edna’s “Waterscapes” mentioned in the Island Packet

July 7th, 2016
Shem Creek Park, oil on canvas, floating, 32” x 83.5”

Shem Creek Park, oil on canvas, floating, 32” x 83.5”

The article “Lowcountry artists have big things happening in Charleston” by Nancy K. Wellard was published by the Island Packet on July 6, 2016. Fraser’s exhibition at Diamonds Direct, a fundraiser for Charleston Waterkeeper, was described by Wellard:

And then move on to “Waterscapes,” an exhibit of stunning, monumental batiks on silk, along with some new oil paintings by artist, Mary Edna Fraser, who spent a number of years pursuing her artistic focus on Hilton Head Island.

She now works daily in her studio, nestled in a wooded setting, just 10 minutes off the beaten track from downtown Charleston. Happily, she remains in close touch with island galleries, artist friends, particularly, and continues to expand the portrayal of her artist’s focus about her reverence and appreciation for our planet, generally, and its waterways, specifically.

A collection of her astonishing batik work, “Waterscapes,” was selected by Charleston’s Diamonds Direct, to be featured in the inaugural exhibit in their location. The thrillingly intimate, strikingly personal show is fully in place, and you must take in every piece.

The younger Mary Edna Fraser, developed her appreciation for waterways, and the way they converge at water’s edge, forming patterns with fingers of land, when she peered down from the side of the open cockpit of a small airplane. That unusual perspective, many years ago, contributed completely to her interest, in her adult years, to a greater understanding and appreciation for our Lowcountry settings.

Over time, Fraser’s interest in representing those perspectives artistically, led to her now acknowledged and award-winning, monumental work in batik — batik on silk, particularly.

“Batik is a process that started in Java, and predates written records,” Fraser said. “It’s a dye resist process in which I apply removable wax to fabric, in my case, silk. I create areas that will repel dye while the unwaxed areas will absorb my color choices.”

Recently, satellites and space imagery have further expanded Fraser’s range of content to the extent that she has added barrier islands, river deltas, mountains, glaciers and landscapes to her body of work, with astonishing technical precision.

“But most especially, I work from my own aerial photograph — oh, and with maps and charts,” she said.

Apart from the vibrant and light-filled beauty we all find in her batik work, she has been recognized by the Planetary Geologists of NASA and the Smithsonian Institute for her artistic accomplishments.


The exhibition is open through August 22, 2016 at Diamonds Direct, 1911 Hwy 17 N, Mount Pleasant.

Homage to William Morris II, batik on silk by Mary Edna Fraser, 57.5" x 14"

Homage to William Morris II, batik on silk by Mary Edna Fraser, 57.5″ x 14″