Volcanoes, Barbados, batik on silk, 46″ x 45.75″
Volcanoes, Barbados, batik on silk, 46″ x 45.75″

Art & Science: Envisioning Ocean Depths

A Touring Exhibition

Available 2014

View the official website for the Duke University exhibition. We are currently seeking venues to host and curate our traveling show. Our interdisciplinary approach has special appeal to educators.

Art & Science: Envisioning Ocean Depths is a new online and traveling exhibition featuring multi-media works by seven artists and expert scientists from a 2012 field expedition to the Barbados volcanic seeps on the research vessel Atlantis.

The collaborative exhibition includes video screenings and installations, batiks on silk, watercolors, oil paintings, sketchbook drawings, photographs, maps, and 3D models, all based on the scientific voyage. Chronicled within these works are the experiences that talented artists had alongside skilled scientists while exploring the deep sea. The artists were challenged to capture the essence of discovery as the scientists mapped the seafloor, made measurements, sampled zooplankton, and deployed the remotely-operated underwater vehicle (ROV) Jason to collect benthic invertebrates. This exciting fusion of art and science has resulted in a stirring portrayal of the wondrous world of the deep ocean floor.

The insights of the scientists, displayed on wall plaques, will provide explanatory information. Deep-sea biologist Dr. Cindy Van Dover, head of Duke University’s Marine Lab, was Chief Scientist of the project. Dr. Laura Brothers of the US Geological Survey mapped the cruise track and sea floor. Dr. Craig Young, Principal Investigator, researched the larvae of mussels and tube worms. Cindy wrote, “When scientists report on the outcome of deep-ocean exploration, they do so in reams of technical papers that capture the facts and insights but fail to capture the intellectual and emotional power of the moment of discovery.” In this all-inclusive exhibition, this gap is bridged with science and art to create a comprehensive and inspiring portrait of the deep sea.

·      Artist Karen Jacobsen worked with watercolor to create impressionistic paintings of the seafloor landscape, and illustrations of deep-sea creatures rendered with exacting detail.  

·      Batik artist Mary Edna Fraser will translate her depictions of the sonar maps of the seafloor into vibrant large-scale batiks on silk. On-site drawings and watercolors on paper show the investigative process. She also wrote about the adventure on her blog, Delete Apathy.

·      Jolene Mok, is an experimental video artist. Her triptych video installation entitled Shipboard Romance, filmed onboard the Atlantis, explores motion, merging viewpoints to create a panaromic experience that is mesmorizing.

·      Natasha Kermani is a director, producer, and cinematographer. She created a short documentary film with an original score that premiered at the Woods Hole Film Festival in July 2013. 

·      Photographer and scientist Brandon Puckett Photographer and scientist Dr. Brandon Puckett used his camera lens to capture All Hands on Deck, a study of hands at work at sea. He describes life aboard the ship with his text and photographs.

·      Two additional artists, Seth Tane and Becca Barnet, were added to round out the exhibition. Tane will create oil paintings depicting the Atlantis research vessel and the Jason ROV. Barnet will make a diorama of the seafloor that coincides with Fraser’s batiks.

This exhibition was produced with thanks to our partnering institutions: Duke University, North Carolina State University, University of Oregon, and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. This material is supported in part by a grant from the National Science Foundation.