Collaboration between a Fabric Painter and a Scientist

23 06 2011

I have to start by thanking @FashionHistoria for mentioning this site on Twitter.

Then I have to thank the artist and the scientist whose collaboration resulted in thebatik on silk fabric paintings covered at the website. They are

Mary Edna Fraser (the artist)

and Orrin Pilkey (the scientist)

Then I have to tell anyone who happens to be in North Carolina or near the North Carolina Natural Science Museum and is interested inbatik or in fabric painting in general (I wish I was among you.) to go see the exhibit of the paintings. It’s called “Our Expanding Oceans. The Blending of Art and Science”.

Now, I’ll confess that I am a former research biochemist turned textile artist with one of my own concentrations being fabric painting, so I’m anything but unbiased, BUT I just love the paintings that have been made available on the web. I’m going to borrow just one of the images for this blog, so you can see why I’m so enthusiastic about all this.

Here’s one:

It depicts the gulf oil spill, and it boggles my mind with its beauty. I can pretty much analyze what procedures were necessary to paint it. I can even analyze (and very much approve) the color choices made. The scientist in me can see how such a piece of art could be used to present more clearly the scientist’s ideas. (After all, I once said during a scientific presentation that the microtubules of platelets were where the windows are in a spaceship, and also hatched the idea that doing a protein or DNA sequence as a string of beads might make it easier to see functional patterns.)  [I never got arround to putting that idea into effect, but maybe I should. ]

And my mind still boggles at its beauty.

And now that your aesthetic tastebuds have been activated, here’s where those of you not in North Carolina can see the rest.

Should you happen to be inspired by these to take up fabric painting yourself, I’m hoping to have enough students sign up to be teaching it at Piedmont Virginia Community College (PVCC) in the fall, and I’m also available for private lessons.