PREVIEW: Mary Mattingly- Stamps Speaker Series

As a special treat, the Stamps Lecture Series will be offering not one, but two lectures this week. Today, November 9th at 5:10 pm at the Rackham Amphitheater, the esteemed artist, Mary Mattingly will give us a personal glimpse into her creative process. You will soon be able to see her installation work either on the diag as a part of your daily walk to class, or at the Institute for Humanities. Tomorrow, November 10th, join us in the Michigan Theater at the same time to see a speech by the inventive and inspiring Athi-Patra Ruga.

a21boulder_textMattingly’s installation at the Institute for Humanities is entitled, “Objects Unveiled: Boxing, Rolling, Stretching and Cutting,” and it explores the use of cobalt as a pigment throughout the ages, and the social issues surrounding it. There will be an opening reception for this exhibit immediately following her lecture today. You can find more information about the event here.

Mattingly uses her work to explore ideas such as nomadic lifestyles and travel, connections and human relations, and exactly what it is that defines our home. Her work merges performance art, architecture, sculpture and more in harmony to make a bold statement.

Her project to design “wearable portable architecture,” and to create a “wearable home,” embody this melding of ideas perfectly. The contrast between fashion, and the most extreme form of function, is strikingly obvious in the following pictures.


One of her most exciting projects is the Waterpod Project, a livable floating platform that was docked outside New York and has housed many artists.  You can watch a video highlighting some of what made this project so special below.

Her “House and Universe” photo series is also strikingly resonant, and the photos featured here are just a small sample of those in the series.

Lastly, she returned to many of the ideas she has worked with on the Waterpod Project, in her 2014 project WetLand.  This work explored the responses to the changing environment and the future of the human race because of this changing environment. Mary and several other artists created and lived in this work as it floated along the Philadelphia river, making a statement about sustainable living.  I have included another video about the project below.

All images and videos are from

Abby Z

Abby is a Junior dual degree student in the STAMPS school of Art and Design and LSA. When she isn't attending events around campus she likes to go running in the Arb, drawing, and learning languages.

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