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[...]


the (soon-to-be) end of roadtripping

For our honeymoon, in the summer of 2012,
we went on a six week camping road-trip:
driving west from southern New Jersey,
camping at state and national parks
through the Appalachian Mountains,
the south coast of Lakes Erie and Michigan,
up through Pipestone, the Badlands, the Black Hills,
and Devil’s Tower, throughout Wyoming and Montana,
down through Utah and Colorado,
and back east again on a more southern route,
8,485 miles in all.

Unsure of our future plans,
we were thinking the whole time
that we may find a place we would want to call home.
But nowhere did we feel was right for us.
Some were truly magical, awe-inspiring places.
(Beartooth Pass, on the border of Wyoming and Montana,
stands out as a great example, as does Pike’s Peak in Colorado)
yet nowhere did we feel that we found our new home,
or a place we could call home, even temporarily.

{Where we met in Bahrain, international couplings are quite common.
And within Mohamed’s extended family, their frequency
throughout the past two generations has made family gatherings
a warm, cross-cultural experience.
(This week I began reading Mohamed’s Aunt Rashida’s inspiring autobiography
“My Journey Beyond Borders” about her life as the first Malaysian living in Bahrain.
Her honesty about raising a family while living away from her parents and culture
has resonated with my own isolating experience of raising Marmalade in Austria.)}

Four summers later, on our recent road-trip leaving Austria,
we really feel that we found the place we wanted to call home.
We had joked with friends before beginning the journey
that we were going to drive southwest until we reached the end of the continent,
traveling only one way, moving forward towards our destiny.
By the time we reached Rogil, we were ready to stop and settle.
But the land had been logged and our partners backed out,
and so we are moving a bit further along,
another half hour up the western coast.

Yet in Portugal we already feel more at ease,
and less obviously different than everyone else;
perhaps simply due to the less homogenous population here,
or more historically tied to Portugal’s past presence in Bahrain.

 

Mohamed & Marmalade practicing Capoeira on the beach, Zambujeira do Mar
Mohamed & Marmalade practicing Capoeira on the beach, Zambujeira do Mar

As far as our new home, we are slowly making progress.
Our offer has been accepted, the down payment paid,
and now awaiting bank transfers and paperwork to proceed.

We went back to see the house and asses the needed work on Thursday;
it is already beginning to feel more like home there.
In fact, Marmalade has been calling it “Marmaladey house”
since our first visit and asks when we can go back.
Mohamed’s mom seems to enjoy sitting in the living room,
visualizing the needed renovations on walls, floors, and the bathroom,
while Mohamed’s dad walked the property with the realtor,
assessing the landscape and the potential of the property’s 32 sq. meter ruin.

Eager to get to work and begin repairs and renovations, but enjoying a break,
both from roughing it while squatting and the construction work ahead,
to spend time with Mohamed’s parents and explore Zambujeira do Mar,
a really quaint seaside village with incredible beaches,
nice restaurants, and hiking trails up along the coast.

Marmalade exploring the beach at Zambujeira do Mar
Marmalade exploring the beach at Zambujeira do Mar

Only 8 kilometers from our soon-to-be home,
we were excited to see that it is so lovely here;
and once we get our bearings on the local roads,
we should find a relatively easy bike ride to the ocean.

Otherwise, I’ve been doing a lot of laundry,
taking advantage of the running water and electricity that modern living can provide.
Funny, it took about a day to get accustomed to going to the bathroom inside again,
stopping halfway out the backdoor while about to go outside to find some bushes.

Marmalade is enjoying all the attention and affection
that doting grandparents provide.
Which I thought would give me a break to refocus on art,
or future housing and gardening projects,
or something mentally-fulfilling or stimulating,
but other than seeing some pretty flowers I want to grow,
I’ve been in a lull creatively…
Just trying to catch up on sleep
and make sense of the paperwork ahead.

Leave a Comment (2)

co-director (m) wrote on Sep 23:

Marisa I love the way you are writing in stanzas.

co-director (s) wrote on Sep 22:

Yay, but it's always those papers that need to be pushed, isn't it? Super exciting though!