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 fruits of roots

The overnight rains have yielded abundant fruits.
I’m happy to report that we have a patch of boletes
on the shady side of the path going to the top of our property.
This morning I discovered three growing near each other
(the magic number needed for picking one when out foraging);
Marmalade found a fourth one, the smallest of them all, and picked it,
so that we could try a small sample later to ascertain its edibility.

bolete image

(To check a mushroom’s edibility, first rule out any possible poisonous look-alikes.
Then, if in the clear, slice and smell. If it smells pleasant, then sauté slice in a bit of butter.
Then taste, checking not only for flavor, but possible side effects of allergic symptoms.
If it tastes good, and there’s no itchy throat, swollen tongue, or rash developing,
then wait a day, to verify no digestive ailments; then enjoy!)

Since I’ve eaten a lot of a similar looking bolete in America,
Boletus subglabripes, and they smell the same;
I’m assuming they are a similar, if not the same, species.
But I always do the check anyway, just to be sure;
especially now that Marmalade is eating with us.

bolete image 2

Also, I feel that in finding this bolete patch, on our property here,
is in someway a sign that my life has come full circle:
while I was pregnant with Marmalade,
and we were preparing our move to Europe,
I was working on a series of illuminated bolete sculptures,
for a commission for Wells Fargo’s Green Team program.
(Actually, that commission paid for our airfare over to Austria.)

the boletes, 2013
the boletes, 2013

Boletes are a mycorrhizal species,
meaning that the fungus lives in a symbiotic relationship with surrounding trees;
each species providing a benefit for each other.
(the fungus unlocks nutrients in the soil for the trees,
in exchange the trees give the fungus sugars.
Mohamed and I created an informative video of the mycorrhizal relationship
for one of his Biomimetics courses: the Fruits of Roots:
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ZVsCtz5u6s )

More excitingly (because they’re one of my favorites, with their smokey flavor),
I found another parasol growing in our parasol mushroom patch!
Since four unpicked ones had just dissipated from the patch,
I feel no qualms about having this parasol as part of our Thanksgiving feast.

parasol image

Otherwise, as it is a Root time,
I’m planting a few dozen of the onions today,
in the second half of our second garden box.
I love using the greens from the young onions,
and was told that if they were planted now,
by Springtime we’d have a bunch of giant onions.

Leave a Comment (2)

marisa wrote on Nov 28:

Mushrooms are not as mysterious as they first seem,
once you get to know them,
most species become easy to identify,
and most foragers stick to those safe ones.

I found another of this bolete this afternoon,
underneath the lone cork oak by our porch,
which means they have the mycorrhizal relationship.
Cool, huh?
Great tree & great mushroom
living in symbiotic harmony.

co-director (s) wrote on Nov 25:

I'm honestly terrified of eating wild mushrooms and accidentally being poisoned to death, but the irony is, I've never even been on any mushroom hunting -- all in my unfortunate imagination, lol So your guidance to check the edibility is mind boggling and it makes total sense that the mushrooms even paid for your flights -- amazing!