The Optimistic Art of Mary Mattingly
The artist’s work addresses future climate crises while attempting to make the urban environment a better place to live right now through art.
Sept. 30, 2022
IN THE SUMMER of 2009, the artist Mary Mattingly moved out of her New York apartment and onto a barge for a five-month experiment in off-grid urban living. With salvaged-wood cabins; a geodesic dome; a garden sprouting lettuce, squash, berries and corn; a rainwater filtration system; and solar panels that (at least on sunny days) produced enough power for brief hot showers, “Waterpod” was both a floating sculpture and a mostly self-sufficient community. Mattingly, who celebrated her 31st birthday onboard, rarely stepped ashore.