Our Expanding Oceans is a comprehensive educational exhibition created by artist Mary Edna Fraser and geoscientist Orrin Pilkey. The show is available to travel to national and international institutions directly through the artist. Original text by Fraser and Pilkey corresponds with the batiks on silk. We are seeking venues to show 33 batiks on silk, all owned by Mary Edna Fraser, with a total value of $390,000.

Our Expanding Oceans corresponds to the book, Global Climate Change: A Primer (Duke University Press, 2011) by Orrin and Keith Pilkey. The exhibition addresses many of the issues found in the book, but goes above and beyond its scope, cataloging the continued work and research of collaborators Fraser and Pilkey. Our Expanding Oceans will add to the understanding of those not yet acquainted with the fundamentals of climate change in all of its various manifestations. Lectures, DVDs, and the collaborative book 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 goal of this project is to use art as a vehicle to share scientific information, to educate, and to inspire. Our Expanding Oceans uses batiks to convey perspectives that the human eye and ordinary cameras cannot reveal. This unique exhibit of skilled professionals offers the public a stimulating visual and verbal exchange of knowledge. The visitor will leave the exhibition feeling more connected to planet Earth, having gained new insights related to present global change.

Portions of the show integrated into Above, Between, Below, 2015

January 25, 2013 – May 13, 2013
Paleontological Research Institution and its Museum of the Earth
Ithaca, NY

November 12, 2011 – February 25, 2012
SciWorks, Winston-Salem, NC

June 25, 2011 – November 6, 2011
North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences
Raleigh, NC

January 10, 2011 – February 18, 2011
Circle Gallery, College of Environment and Design
University of Georgia, Athens, GA

See more images and news from previous installations on the blog: http://maryedna.com/tag/our-expanding-oceans/

‘Our Expanding Oceans’ Exhibit Portrays Climate Change in Batik
By Bill Chaisson, Ithaca.com, January 16, 2013


Documentary DVDs: National Geographic with Orrin Pilkey and Mary Edna Fraser, Turner Broadcasting Batik Artist
Interactive DVDs by Celie Dailey


Our intention is to illustrate each of the important global warming impacts with corresponding batiks on silk supported by scientific text by Orrin Pilkey.

Ashepoo (SC) 60” x 39.5”
Atafu Atoll (Tokelau, South Pacific) 22” x 22”
Bangladesh (South Asia) 44.75” x 43.5”
Boston II (MA) 42.75” x 98.5”
Charleston Airborne Flooded (SC) 96” x 36”
Earthrise 139.75” x 36”
Earthscaping 47.75” x 48.5”
Flying North (SC) 92” x 43.75”
Glacial Canyon (AK) 55.25” x 35.75”
Global Perception 21’ x 9’ section
Great Barrier Reef I (Australia) 49.75” x 43.5”
Great Barrier Reef II (Australia) 104” x 44.75”
Gulf Oil Spill 55” x 35”
Hurricane Florence...
Hurricane Katrina 50.75” x 53.75”
Inferno (Glacier National Park) 43.5" x 35.5"
Kilimanjaro (Tanzania) 34” x 44.5”
Monterey Canyon (CA) 121.5” x 72.5”
Moulin (Greenland) 54” x 36”
Murray River (Australia) 31” x 27.75”
Northwest Passage (Arctic Ocean) 37.75” x 53.75”
Pacific Full Moon 51.5” x 44.25”
Pteropod (Limacina helicina) 24” x 18”
Romain’s Refuge (SC) 107” x 33”
Selenga Delta (Lake Baikal, Russia) 44” x 45”
Self Portrait (SC) 113” x 35”
Serpentine River 63.5” x 36”
Shishmaref’s Shores (AK) 34” x 98”
Sinking Colombian Shores 34” x 63”
Slice of South Carolina 27’ x 6.5’
Slopes of Mauna Loa (HI) 184” x 36”
Spencer Gulf (Australia) 26” x 37”
Venice (Italy) 61” x 47”
Wilsons Promontory (Australia) 27.25” x 35.5”
Yukon Delta (AK) 44” x 44”

Giclée prints can be added to the exhibit list to expand the presentation:
Amazon River (South America) 103" x 35" batik on silk
Edingsville (SC) 80" x 35" batik on silk
Flying the Everglades (FL) 96" x 36" batik on silk
Morris Island (SC) 44" x 36" batik on silk

Mary Edna Fraser, artist and project creator, will produce all artwork and negotiate the exhibition.

The pioneering work of contemporary American artist Mary Edna Fraser has been collected and exhibited worldwide. Her textile artwork in the ancient medium of batik utilizes aerial photography, satellite imagery, and modern dye technology. Her series of batiks, Islands From the Sky, began in 1979 when she originated the idea of designing works of art on silk from the vantage point revealed only by altitude. Often photographing from her grandfather’s 1946 Ercoupe airplane with her father or brother as pilot, she explores the natural wonders of the continent. Her art depicts new visions in science, illustrating the threatened landscape. 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. She has completed numerous public commissions including batiks for the American Embassy in Thailand and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Publications reviewing her work include Smithsonian Magazine, Air and Space, The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, National Geographic, and New Yorker.

Orrin Pilkey is James B. Duke Professor Emeritus of Geology within the Division of Earth and Ocean Sciences at Duke University and Founding Director of the Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines. He is a recipient of the Shepard Medal for Excellence in Marine Geology and is an internationally renowned expert on coastal geology. In addition to having written The Beaches are Moving: The Drowning of America’s Shoreline, Living by the Rules of the Sea, and Useless Arithmetic, Dr. Pilkey has coauthored or edited 36 books. His work is featured in publications such as the New York Times Magazine, Esquire, Oceans Magazine, Smithsonian Magazine, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and National Geographic.

Dr. Pilkey advised on the wall text for the exhibition Aerial Inspirations: Silk Batiks by Mary Edna Fraser (1994 -1995) at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. A slide lecture at the Einstein Planetarium in 1994, A Shared Vision: Preserving the Barrier Islands through Science and Art, was the first public collaboration between Dr. Pilkey and Ms. Fraser. A Celebration of the World’s Barrier Islands, Columbia University Press, was published October 2003 with favorable reviews. The National Science Foundation and National Academy of Science have featured Fraser and Pilkey’s collaboration, as have Duke Museum of Art and Emory University.

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