Marisa Dipaola, USA / Portugal

Residency Period: August 1, 2016 - July 31, 2017


Bio

Marisa Dipaola was born barefoot on December 12th, 1977, and grew up in the cedar swamps and coastal Atlantic of southern New Jersey. She graduated with honors from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2000 where she majored in painting and began experimenting with site-specific sculptural installations. Upon graduation, Marisa received a travel grant to study la Mezquita, in Cordoba, Spain, which began a collection of travels to eighteen countries, studying the sacred architecture and natural wonders, producing site-specific artworks in Japan and Iceland as well as entire series of artwork while on residence in Spain, India, Italy, Egypt, Austria, and Bahrain.

She has exhibited her works internationally at museums, galleries, universities, cultural institutions, community gathering places, outdoors within natural sculptural parks and urban revitalization projects.

URL: dropr.com/marisadipaola


On-hiatus Proposal Summary

In the course of being a nomadic artist, Marisa Dipaola has wandered throughout the landscape in diverse surroundings, constantly inspired by the natural world that embraces us all. After residing in the southern Austrian Alps for three years, she and her family are ready for a road trip to move to southern Portugal, in order to buy and renovate an old farm as a sustainable, permaculture project: moonfarmers. Raising her three-year old daughter while this major project is on the go, she is unable to foresee any free-time to take part in the artworld, at least for a year or so. Instead, she will dedicate her time and artistic effort to turning an abandoned property into a sustainable small farm and retreat, and quite possibly a future artist residency.

Her time will be spent with rebuilding a sustainable habitation, sourcing and planting fruit and nut trees, native edibles, sacred seeds, establishing berry patches, grape vines, mushroom patches, a chicken coop, a small fish pond, a huge vegetable patch. She will use sculptural elements to create terraced farming areas, enhance microclimates and enable year-round cultivation courtesy of cold frames fashioned from old windows as well as illuminating indoor growing areas, a few wind-chimes, alternative-energy-generating works, and the interior redesign & redecoration of their living space. On a more scientific front, she hopes to incorporate the skills she learns during this time to create various sculptural projects that encourage growth, combining illuminated works with fungal works and garden projects to create sustainable, living artworks. Any additional free time she finds will be spent mending clothes from the pile she’s had gathering for years and to complete more butterfly carpets -- and there is that quilt she has wanted to make for her bedroom.

She hopes that the time working and reflecting while on-hiatus from the artworld, but proceeding with her moonfarmers project will guide the future, whichever way it grows.


Final Report


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recent comments

On Jul 31 2017, mathieu commented on revival: part IV: thank you for the reports and for the gorgeous photographs, your adventure is very inspiring![...]

On Jul 31 2017, co-director (s) commented on revival: part IV: I'm all choked up... July 31 happened to be my birthday too; what a last day! Thank you to you all!![...]

On Jul 31 2017, co-director (m) commented on revival: part IV: Thank you so much for your generous contribution to this project Marisa - and everyone (we know it's[...]

On Jul 30 2017, co-director (s) commented on revival: part three: One thing we regret not to have done sooner is to make the comment section capable of posting images[...]

On Jul 29 2017, marisa commented on revival: part one: Most of our gardening is playing the long-game & indeed for the patient-hearted. some of our tre[...]


week four: moonfarming begins

So after four weeks of squatting in a ruin in Rogil,
we put an offer on the wooden cottage
in the midst of the bamboo park.
It is an off-the-grid property,
with great potential to be a sustainable,
perhaps even self-sufficient farmstead.
It reminds me of a miniature version of my grandparents’ house,
with the possibility of adding on rooms,
or building tree houses, guest cabins, or yurts,
and will give us a good start this autumn
towards building our own home/life here in Portugal.

We will be excited to finally have a little chunk of land to call our own,
where we can invite friends, family, fellow artists,
and all kinds of creative people we have met along our way.

And begin moonfarming.
Though I guess that has already begun.
The concept is that we imagined we were swept up in a great storm
and transported on a giant wave, washing up on the moon,
with a endless coast of scattered debris in which we scavenge
to build a farmstead, in order to survive.
(It is the beginning scene of a comic book Mohamed hopes to draw.
It has also been the unofficial title of all the fungus experiments
we have grown in the past year, in part for a research project
Mohamed and I completed for one of his Biomimetic courses.)

But all in all,
we have been collecting odds and ends since we met,
beach combing, dumpster diving, roadside salvaging, etc.
for raw materials to transform into a livable habitation,
creating a happy little sculptural storybook cottage
where we can have a giant garden, extensive orchard,
grow mushrooms in the forest, have chickens and fish pond.
(For a few years, before moving to Austria,
I had created a series of soft-sculptural “habitations”
surreal spaces for visitors to interact within an artwork.
Although fulfilling as a sculptor, seeing people entranced within my works,
these pieces left me feeling almost homesick for a place that never existed.)

So we await the acceptance or denial of our offer…
4,000€ below their asking price,
hopefully enough to complete repairs and finish the superficial sidings
and really begin moonfarming.

While at the beach over the weekend,
we began collecting smooth colored stones for our patio project:
a mosaic floor for our outdoor kitchen/dining area,
hopefully building it under a grape arbor.
And yesterday, while at Esteveira beach,
we collected a few armfuls of driftwood,
in random shapes and lengths,
which we plan to paint multicolors,
perhaps to use as exterior siding
or on a treehouse or garden project.

And then while biking to the market,
and passing the recycling bins in town,
there was a stack of old enamel cooking pots,
an giant ladle, an old kettle, and some flower pots.
I crammed them all into the basket on my bike
(not leaving any room for the groceries I was about to buy).
Marmalade immediately began playing with the new treasures,
and this morning helped me pot up some wild succulents
that we hope to transplant to our new home
(perhaps as the greenery for our intended green roof).

 

Marmalade playing with her new treasures
Marmalade playing with her new treasures
Leave a Comment (2)

co-director (s) wrote on Sep 9:

Yes, they'd better give it to you guys! and, gosh, those enamel pots are real scores in my opinion! I would have grabbed them too and forget about groceries...

co-director (m) wrote on Sep 8:

Exciting progress Marisa! Fingers crossed your
offer's accepted!