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Above: Swale is an edible landscape on a barge in New York City. Over 264,000 people have visited Swale since 2016, attended its workshops, and picked food. They have learned about care for the water and soil, recycling, and conserving natural resources. Swale is currently undergoing a redesign. The new structure will focus on saline farming and salt-tolerant agroforestry.


Mary Mattingly is an interdisciplinary artist based in New York.

She founded Swale, an edible landscape on a barge in New York City. Docked at public piers but following waterways common laws, Swale circumnavigates New York's public land laws, allowing anyone to pick free fresh food. Swale instigated and co-created the "foodway" in Concrete Plant Park, the Bronx in 2017. The "foodway" is the first time New York City Parks is allowing people to publicly forage in over 100 years. It's currently considered a pilot project.

Mattingly recently launched Public Water with More Art and completed public artwork “Pull” with the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes de la Habana and the Bronx Museum of the Arts, two spherical ecosystems that were pulled across Habana to Parque Central and the museum. In 2018 she received a commission from BRIC Arts Media to build "What Happens After" which involved dismantling a military vehicle (LMTV) that had been to Afghanistan and deconstructing its mineral supply chain. A group of artists including performance artists, veterans, and public space activists re-envisioned the vehicle for BRIC. In 2016 Mattingly facilitated a similar project with teens at the Museum of Modern Art. PhotoMary Mattingly, Public Water: Watershed Core, installation at Prospect Park, Brooklyn NY, June 3 – September 7, 2021. 

Mary Mattingly's artwork has also been exhibited at the Istanbul Biennale, the Havana Biennial, Storm King, the International Center of Photography, the Seoul Art Center, the Brooklyn Museum, the New York Public Library, deCordova Museum and Sculpture Park, and the Palais de Tokyo. With the U.S. Department of State and Bronx Museum of the Arts she participated in the smARTpower project, traveling to Manila. Mattingly has been awarded grants and fellowships from the James L. Knight Foundation, Eyebeam Center for Art and Technology, Yale University School of Art, the Harpo Foundation, NYFA, the Jerome Foundation, and the Art Matters Foundation.

Her work has been featured in Aperture Magazine, Art in America, Artforum, Art News, Sculpture Magazine, The New York Times, New York Magazine, Financial Times, Le Monde Magazine, Metropolis Magazine, New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal, the Brooklyn Rail, and on BBC News, MSNBC, NPR, WNBC, and on Art21.

It has been included in books such as the Whitechapel/MIT Press Documents of Contemporary Art series title "Nature" and edited by Jeffrey Kastner, Triple Canopy's Speculations, the Future Is... published by Artbook, and Henry Sayre's A World of Art, 8th edition, published by Pearson Education Inc. Mattingly's artwork is represented by Robert Mann Gallery and currently, her sculpture can be seen in the Cuenca Bienale in Ecuador.

Boetzkes, Amanda, Climate Realism ed. Lynn Badia, Marija Cetinic and Jeff Diamanti, Routledge Press, 2019
Weintraub, Linda, What’s Next? Eco Materialism and Contemporary Art, University of Chicago Press, 2019.
Yuha Jung, Ann Rowson Love, Systems Thinking in Museums: Theory and Practice, Rowman & Littlefield, 2017
Muller, Ellen. Elements and Principles of 4D Art and Design, Oxford University Press, 2016.
Sayre, Henry, A World of Art, 8th edition, Pearson Education Inc. and Lawrence King Publishing, 2015.
Davis, Heather and Etienne Turpin, Art in the Anthropocene: Encounters Among Aesthetics, Politics, Environments and Epistemologies Open Humanities Press, 2015.
Speculations ("The future is ______"), Triple Canopy, 2015.
Michaels, Maria, Media Art and the Urban Environment: Engendering Public Engagement with Urban Ecology Springer-Verlag, 2015.
Tsai, Eugenie and Rujeko Hockley. Crossing Brooklyn, Brooklyn Museum, NY, 2014.
Common Spaces, The Whitney Museum, NY, 2014.
Goldfarb, Maximilian and Matt Bua. Drawing Building, Lawrence King, 2012.
Kastner, Jeffrey. Nature, Documents of Contemporary Art Series, Whitechapel/MIT Press, 2012.
Sullivan, Lexi Lee, Temporary Structures, deCordova Museum and Sculpture Park, 2012.
Bogre, Michelle, Photography as Activism: Images for Social Change, Focal Press, 2012.
R. Klanten, S. Ehmann, K. Bolhöfer, My Green City, Gestalten, 2011.
Water, Prix Pictet, teNeuse, 2009.
Au Feminin, Centre Culturel Calouste Gulbenkian, Paris, 2008.

ARTICLES (coming soon)
Kevan Klosterwell, Duke University Press


Photo by Manuel Molina Martagon.