Greetings & Welcome to our Residency for Artists on Hiatus project: moonfarmers!
Currently we are camped out in Rogil, southern Portugal,
on a chunk of farmland that we intended to buy,
awaiting word from the two German families
who will also be moving here from Austria.
The property description said 5.48 hectares of farmland,
partly forested, 600m from ocean.
However, upon arrival,
we saw that the forested part of the farmland had been logged,
clearcut & burned, for a quick profit for the sellers, I suppose;
the land looks devastated,
leaving scattered charred pinecones and tree stumps,
and bleached and empty snail shells.
But without the woods, I doubt we will buy it, as the trees,
and the shade they’d provide,
were one of the main reasons we selected this property;
that are the proximity to the beach.
So we will continue looking for other farms for sale in the area;
yet we will continue camping out here for the next two weeks,
until one of the families arrives to confer and decide where we will actually live.
Sorry, I suppose an introduction is in order:
my name is marisa dipaola.
I have been living a nomadic existence since leaving R.I.S.D. in 2000.
I have also been living a scattered life;
some places a painter, a sculptor, an installation artist, a fiber artist,
a costume designer, and, while living in Cairo a dozen years ago,
I taught an experimental drawing workshop for relocated Sudanese and Nubian artists.
I have traveled a lot, mostly beginning journeys through Artists Residency programs,
sometimes extending my stay, and while at Al Riwaq, in Bahrain,
meeting my husband,
Mohammed, a scuba diver, comic artist, all around incredible guy;
who shortly after our six week camping roadtrip honeymoon,
decided to go back to school.
So we spent the past three years in Villach, Austria,
while he got his Masters in Biomimetics.
It was lovely there, and our daughter, Marmalade, was born there;
but we both grew up on the sea and missed the salt water.
So we packed up and left,
driving 40 hours southwest to the edge of Europe,
to buy farmland and start a new life.
I had been painting at the Karawanserie,
an alternative community space in Villach,
where we met Astrid and Petra, and their families,
who will be joining us here in Portugal.
Over the next week,
we plan to bike around the nearby neighborhoods,
looking for other places for sale,
hopefully with more trees and with more land.
In the meantime, I will try to get these posts online,
yet technology has been somewhat challenging,
as we have been powering all our devices
(phones, tablet, camera & mini projector)
with 2 small solar panels that we plug into;
however, much of the charge goes towards Marmalade’s daily dose of cartoons,
currently “Masha & Medbedb” which she lovingly calls ” Masha & Mishka.”