Swale Lab at Swale House Nolan Park 15 continues their Art and Ecology Residency program for artists, writers, and ecologists who engage with urban land policy, agriculture, food, and water as a commons, with occasional outdoor installations and programming. See below for current artist residencies. Swale House is open by appointment only, email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Attuned: Artworks in Attuned address living soil, inspired by the billions of microbes in every tablespoon of dirt which breathe in carbon dioxide and exhale oxygen. Like the dirt beneath our feet, these sculptures teeter between living being, inanimate object, and transformative process. Some incorporate plants and melting wax, others create complex shifts in our perception. Featuring artists Joy Curtis, David D’Ostilio, Rachel Frank, Heidi Norton and Brian Zegeer. Curated by Julie Ann Nagle. Request an appointment: email@example.com
Urban Soils Room: The Urban Soils Room houses the soil samples collected by the Natural Resources Conservation Service for the landmark New York City Reconnaissance Soil Survey. The room is an art and science collaborative installation that highlights the beauty of the soils and illustrates the essential functions that soils perform in the urban ecosystem. Originally a collaboration between soil scientist Dr. Richard Shaw and artist Margaret Boozer, the Swale iteration expands with additions from Urban Soils Institute and its Art Extension Service, including programming and a soils testing lab. Organized by Urban Soils Institute Art Extension: Project Soils. Request an appointment: firstname.lastname@example.org
Acts of Restoration*: In collaboration with Swale and Urban Soil Institute, artist Tessa Grundon is working with the woven fibers and dyes of hyperaccumlator and medicinal plants to create woven vessels (hassocks/tussocks) for the remediation of damaged land and waterscapes. These contain the soil, microbes, seeds and mycelium for the restoration of specific sites. She has been growing a dye and fiber garden for experimentation with Swale Food Forest and SUS.
*Braiding Sweetgrass, Robin Wall Kimmerer
About Swale: An initiative of artist Mary Mattingly, Swale began as a public floating food forest built atop a 5,000 square foot barge in New York City established in 2016, that traveled to public piers in New York City, by utilizing marine common law while circumventing public land laws. Over the past five years, Swale has hosted over 230,000 visitors at Governors Island, Concrete Plank Park in the Bronx, Brooklyn Bridge Park, and the Brooklyn Army Terminal. In 2017 NYC Parks launched their first public “foodway” initiative as a result of Swale in Concrete Plant Park in the Bronx. Now, anyone can visit this NYC Parks pilot project and forage freely on public land. In 2018 Swale began programming on Governors Island in Nolan Park at the Swale Lab in House 15, Nolan Park with weekend events focused on ecological reparation, remediation, and regeneration.