Above Between Below, installation at the City Gallery at Waterfront Park, Charleston, SC
Above Between Below, installation at the City Gallery at Waterfront Park, Charleston, SC

A Traveling exhibition

Available 2017


March 21, 2015 – April 2015, The City Gallery at Waterfront Park, Charleston, SC

July 2017, International Cartographic Association 28th Conference, Washington DC

Above Between Below is a comprehensive educational exhibition of Mary Edna Fraser’s batiks on silk depicting images of space, earth, and deep sea. Lectures, videos and books support the presentation. Designed for exhibition by art museums, science centers, and university galleries, the format is flexible and can be curated to fit the needs of each host institution. In addition, its interdisciplinary approach will have special appeal to educators.

The pioneering work of contemporary American artist Mary Edna Fraser has been collected and exhibited worldwide. Her large-scale artwork in the ancient medium of batik utilizes aerial photography, satellite imagery, and modern dye technology. In 1994-95, she was the first woman to be honored with a one-person exhibition at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC. The National Science Foundation and National Academy of Science have featured Fraser’s collaborations, as have Duke Museum of Art and Emory University.

Above Between Below combines three bodies of work with leading scientists in their fields.

The Above component has been exhibited as Mapping the Planets in Silk and Sound, in collaboration with planetary scientist Ted Maxwell of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s Center for Earth and Planetary Studies and composer Mark Mercury of Los Angeles.

The Between component has been exhibited as Our Expanding Oceans featuring Fraser’s work with coastal geologist Orrin H. Pilkey, Duke University Professor Emeritus. They produced two critically acclaimed books together, A Celebration of the World’s Barrier Islands, Columbia University Press, 2003, and Global Climate Change: A Primer, Duke University Press, 2011. Fraser and Pilkey have had over 50 exhibitions together since meeting in 1993.

The Below component displays Fraser’s newest batiks for Cindy Lee Van Dover, biological oceanographer, director of the Duke University Marine Lab and first female pilot of the submersible Alvin. Van Dover brought Fraser aboard the Woods Hole Research Vessel Atlantis in 2012 where she created watercolor maps that were later translated to silk in her studio. She also shot the video Exploring Deep Sea Volcanoes off the Coast of Barbados: An Artist’s Perspective.

Above Between Below offers a bridge to science through art. Batiks on silk convey perspectives that the human eye and ordinary cameras cannot reveal. This unique experience offers the public a stimulating visual and verbal exchange of knowledge.


Video, Exploring Deep Sea Volcanoes off the Coast of Barbados: An Artist’s Perspective(17:03), edited by Cecelia Dailey

Video, Batik Artist (6:30), Ted Turner South, Southern Living

Music by Mark Mercury

Catalog for Above, Between, Below, by Cecelia Dailey

In production with University of South Carolina Press, The Batik Art of Mary Edna Fraser, by Cecelia Dailey

Touch panel of silks prepared by the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum

Tools of batik, watercolor paints, and rocks from the Deep Sea, to be encased

Books by Orrin Pilkey, to be encased

Labels prepared by the City Gallery at Waterfront Park, Charleston, SC


Batiks on Silk

Asteroid Ida 101” x 36” 2002

Comet West 87” x 36” 2004

Crater Aurelia (Venus ) 57” x 49” 2001

Dark Spot (Neptune) 52” x 44” 2003

Dying Star 30.5” x 54” 2013

Earthrise 143” x 36” 2003

Eye of God 50” x 51.5” 2007

Faint Disk (Uranus) 45” x 44” 2000

Heavenly Body 41” x 52” 2000

Io’s Shadow (Jupiter) 38” x 49” 2001

Mercury’s Rays 40” x 35” 2003

Pacific Full Moon 50” x 44” 1999

Pluto and Charon 102” x 54” 2001

Rings of Ice 43” x 36” 1999

Slice of Mars 114” x 35” 2004

Sun Spot 47” x 35” 2003

The Pleiades 36” x 50” 2003

Atafu Atoll (Tokelau, South Pacific) 22” x 22” 2010

Bangladesh (South Asia) 46” x 43” 2010

Bhutan’s Himalayas 37.5” x 54” 2008

Boston II (MA) 43” x 98.5” 2007

Charleston Airborne Flooded (SC) 97” x 35” 2010

Charleston Runner (SC), framed 15” x 60” 1996 Gibbes Museum

Charleston Waterways (SC) 21’ x 9’ 1989 Chas. Int. Airport

Earthscaping 47” x 47” 2001

Flying North (SC) 93” x 44” 2004

Glacial Canyon (AK) 60” x 36” 1993

Global Perception (21′ section) 252” x 108” 1999

Great Barrier Reef I (Australia) 51” x 48” 2007

Great Barrier Reef II (Australia) 104” x 45” 2008

Gulf Oil Spill 55” x 35” 2010

Homage to Hokusai II 53” x 43” 2011

Hurricane Katrina 51” x 54” 2007

Kilimanjaro (Tanzania) 34” x 44.5” 2008

Laguna Madre (Mexico) 33” x 35.75” 2009

Monterey Canyon (CA) 121” x 72” 2005

Moulin (Greenland) 54” x 36” 2010

Murray River (Australia) 31” x 27.75” 2009

Northwest Passage (Arctic Ocean) 38.5” x 54” 2008

Pteropod (Limacina helicina) 24” x 18” 2010

Romain’s Refuge (SC) 106” x 33” 2005

Selenga Delta (Lake Baikal, Russia) 44” x 45” 2006

Self Portrait 102” x 36” 2005

Shishmaref’s Shores (AK) 34” x 98” 1996

Sinking Colombian Shores 34” x 63” 1998

Slice of South Carolina 324” x 78” 1999

Slopes of Mauna Loa (HI) 184” x 36” 1994

Spencer Gulf (Australia) 26” x 37” 2009

Venice (Italy) 61” x 47” 2000

Wilsons Promontory (Australia) 27.25” x 35.5” 2009

Yukon Delta (AK) 44” x 44” 2006

Bajan Mud Volcanoes 9’ x 4’ 2014

Deformation Zone 17’ x 3’ 2014

Volcanoes 4’ x 4’ 2014

All 58 batiks are owned by the artist, except Bhutan’s Himalayas, Charleston Runner, Charleston Waterways, Edingsville, Homage to Hokusai II, and Gaia which are easily available for loan.


Bajan Mud Volcanoes (Barbados) 16.25” x 10.125” 2012

Deformation Zone (Barbados) 15.25” x 7.625” 2012

Larvae (Barbados) 13.75” x 8.5” 2012

Mysterious Ocean Floor (Barbados) 16.5” x 18” 2012

Volcanoes (Barbados) 13.75” x 13.5” 2012


Mary Edna Fraser, artist

Cecelia Dailey, videographer and editor