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[...]


planting fruit trees while it’s Fruit time

Fruit time is always my favorite,
and usually the busiest, time for us.
And this Fruit time is especially so,
as we’ve entered the Northern Transplanting time,
so it is an ideal time to plant fruit tree saplings.

Today we got three more trees,
so dug three more holes.
This time we selected a Lemon
(with one unripe lemon, a flower bud, & the most incredible smell)

tangerine image
a Tangerine (with three plump dark green fruits), and another Olive tree
(because three olive trees fit well on the hillside in a nice triangular formation).
Fortunately, their prices have been quite reasonable,
from 3€ to 8€ per tree, so we can afford to go a bit overboard.

We also grabbed two limbs of someone’s pruned fig tree that we found roadside,
and after two weeks sitting in a can a water, they have sprouted rootlets.
So before the end of Fruit time,
we will dig a couple more holes
and get those in the ground too.

While working on our moonfarmer mushroom recycling projects
that we had begun for a research assignment while in Austria,
we discovered that mushrooms also tend to “fruit” during Fruit time.
And several of the mushroom samples we moved with us
have enjoyed the cool rainy weather and responded with ample fruitings.

image
Two more of the oyster mushrooms growing in recycled milk cartons have begun sprouting,
and an oyster mushroom patch growing in a foil-lined paper bag grew a huge cluster,
while hidden away on the bottom shelf of our outdoor mushroom storage shelf.

image
(I always check all the samples during each Fruit time,
because they emerge so quickly.

So we will be eating a lot more oyster mushrooms.
Tonight I made a Mexican-inspired bean, oyster mushroom,
and red pepper stew that we dipped quesadillas into. Yum.

I also transplanted our shaggy mane mushroom patch this afternoon,
into a small, soggy clearing behind the pond, in the shade of a huge cork oak tree.
During my research I was told to collect some soil
from the site of the wild shaggy mane patch
to transplant soil microorganisms needed to induce the fungus to fruit.
So I put the collected soil microbe clumps on top of the mushroom patch
(mycelia-sprouting spores growing onto a homemade “forest-floor” substrate),
and hope the overnight rains will do the rest.

At first, I was dismayed about our prospects of growing shaggy manes,
as they are a cool weather species that will not fruit until after a frost,
not quite an ideal species to bring to Portugal. (But one of our favorites!)
Luckily the shaggy mane patch seems to have survived the hot summer journey
and probably enjoys the cool rains that we’ve had recently.
And the selected site is in the lowest part of our yard, around the pond,
and has frosted over several times so far this month,
so hopefully Portugal will be cool enough for them to make mushrooms.
Shaggy manes have no market-ability because they deteriorate quickly
(turning into a grayish spore-filled goo in a process called “autodigestion”),
but they are incredible, especially when picked young and fried as tempura,
or dipped in beaten egg, stuffed with grated cheese, and sautéed.

I’ve been taking advantage of Fruit time in the kitchen,
preparing our meals around the fruits
(including beans, nuts, & seed-filled veggies) we have around,
so at the moment lots of mushrooms and pears.
Last night I found chestnuts and decided to make a chestnut soup.
(I crave chestnut soup about once annually,
since having it in a restaurant in the fall while living in Austria.)
Not to brag, but I really liked my soup better than any I ever had.
I browned a chopped onion, fennel, two diced potatoes, and a sliced pear in butter,
then added some herbs and seasoned salt, then simmered in cattail broth.
Meanwhile, I toasted the chestnuts in a lightly buttered pan,
then chopped fine and added to the simmering soup.
The chestnut soups in Austria were loaded with cream and not very nutty,
this one was hearty and nutty and creamy, without any cream.
I ate three bowls.

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