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[...]


(almost) endless summer: five weeks of love

We have now been squatting at the ruin in Rogil for five weeks,
and although happy to say “Tchau”
(pronounced like “Ciao” & Portuguese for goodbye)
to the sorta illegal squatting aspect of life
(especially the squatting to poop in a hole in the ground),
we have really loved being here, every single day.
We are even enjoying the pared down existence of a non-civilized life,
especially since Marmalade began helping with the washing
(she is getting the hang of our two-bucket system for dishes & laundry).

Marmalade helping on laundry day
Marmalade helping on laundry day

The best campsite ever doesn’t even begin to explain this place…

We will miss the endless sound of the waves crashing into the rocky coastline,
which we can hear from our tent at night,
and see from most of the property, even while squatting.
Most especially we will miss the incredible beaches nearby,
and the sea life we have discovered there,
including fishes, big and small, and all sorts of mollusks and aquatic life.

{As an aside, I have been amazed at the variety, quantity and size
of the schools of fish we see while swimming and snorkeling around.
In this age of over-fishing and depleted, polluted oceans,
it gives me hope that a little protection and respect can help our oceans recover.
I am also hopeful that Mohamed will sort out how to turn his aquaculture project
into a sustainable system, helping mollusks and seaweed recover lost ecosystems,
filtering seawater and providing habitats for a multitude of life.
He and his intended seaweed partner still need to find funding
(investors perhaps, and hopefully grants will become available)
yet I see this as an investment in our food security and our environment.}

Marmalade on a rock slide
Marmalade on a rock slide

So we have been going to the beaches everyday,
to spend time and each and say our seasonal goodbye
(though at only a half hour or so from our new home,
I’m sure we will be back again to visit).
Aside from swimming and climbing the sea-sculpted boulders,
we have been collecting bags full of multicolored stones
(for an outdoor patio project at our new home),
gathering driftwood (possibly for a treehouse or outhouse),
seashells (for a wind-chime & possibly a beaded curtain)
and other assorted abandoned fishing gear (ropes, weights and metal rods)
which will come in handy for something or other, someday.

collecting driftwood on Esteveira beach
collecting driftwood on Esteveira beach

And we will miss the town of Rogil itself,
a really chill small town, very bike-able,
with lots of friendly people, farm-fresh produce and dairy products.
And we will miss this property itself,
(a warm thanks to Imonova realty for letting us camp here),
which we wished we could have afforded to stay at on our own,
(and, if the building permits would’ve gone through,
would have become an incredible eco-golf course).

On Tuesday we will relocate to a villa in Zambujeira do Mar,

(a seaside town near the house we hope to buy)
for the next two weeks while Mohamed’s parents are visiting.
I’m sure we will have a culture shock living under a roof,
with electricity and running water (and indoor plumbing!)

So my next post will be from there,
as we continue our journey towards moonfarming…

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