January 24, 2022
This week we recognize the work of artist Mary Mattingly.
Featured here is her recent project Limnal Lacrimosa, a free public art installation currently on view at 5 6th Avenue West in Kalispell, Montana, in the valley of Glacier National Park. As the days grow shorter, the installation is open Mondays from 5-6pm by appointment and now also for listening hours on Sunday evenings.
Limnal Lacrimosa is sited in the original home of the Kalispell Malting and Brewing Company. It celebrates the richness of the valley, from the glaciers and lakes to the cultural histories of art and ceramics.
To build the exhibition, Mattingly has been collecting snow melt and rainwater, some that has dripped through holes in the building’s roof. Cycling water through tubing just below the ceiling, she can evoke the feeling of rain inside the building. Like a large water clock, the building is a meditation on water-courses. The drips are caught in lachrymatory vessels while the sounds of the droplets hitting the containers echo throughout the space. Eventually the vessels fill, water spills onto the floor and the cycle repeats itself. The drips keep time.
The artwork was prompted by Kōbō Abe’s novel The Woman in the Dunes, a story about two people who must forever remove sand from a building. It is also driven by the speed of geologic change in Glacier National Park, or Glacier Time. Over the course of nine (Gregorian calendar) months, the exhibition space inside of 5 6th Avenue West will transform several times.
Mary Mattingly is known for her large-scale installations that address ecology, such as Swale, a mobile free public food forest on a barge in New York City, and an education center for estuarial plants on the Thames in London. Her photographs and sculptures are represented by the Robert Mann Gallery in New York. Her work has been exhibited at Storm King Art Center, the International Center of Photography, Seoul Art Center, the Brooklyn Museum, the New York Public Library, the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, and the Palais de Tokyo. She visited Kalispell for the first time in 2020. marymattingly.com limnal-lacrimosa.com
Featured Images: ©Mary Mattingly, "Limnal Lacrimosa" (2021).