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[...]


darkest days

Aside from the well-drilling,
I’ve tried to spend some quiet, positive time outside,
cutting back blackberries to access the ruin
and I’ve also spent a lot of time in the garden.

During Root time I picked some of our radishes.


They are an organic French Breakfast variety,
with a vibrant color, mild flavor and excellent crunch.
We love them dipped in herbed cream cheese.

Then yesterday, during the Leaf time,
I started to harvest the first of our Red Leaf Kale,
another organic variety from seeds brought over from America,
and tons of arugula, grown from organic seeds I got in Austria.


I didn’t have much time in the afternoon after all the harvesting,
but managed to make three batches of garlicky greens before the end of Leaf time:
(sauté two cloves finely chopped garlic, 1/2 cup finely ground nuts
& three huge handfuls~6 cups chopped greens in herb-infused olive oil,
just until wilted. splash with balsamic vinegar & store in glass jar under a layer of olive oil.
a few scoops of this with equal amount grated cheese makes an instant pesto,
also great stirred into soups and stews, and baked in mac & cheese or veggie lasagna).

Although the garden soil, or the rest of the property weren’t organic,
(& the pollution from well-digging definitely didn’t help any)
we are going to do everything that we can organically,
and although we can’t find any organic plants or fruit trees here,
last weekend I found some organic lettuce, spinach & eggplant seeds,
to add to the collection/crop-rotation.

Hopefully, over time, through our biologic practices,
especially mushroom farming, we will be able to purify the land.

(Oyster mushrooms are renown for their ability
to digest & remove petroleum from contaminated soil.
Aside from the spawn we’ve brought over with us,
that we are beginning to spread throughout the yard,
we found a native strain of Oyster mushrooms
fruiting on a cork oak log as we were sawing firewood.


Oysters propagate well from their myceliated stem bases,
so with proper care, we should be able to expand this strain
& spread these fungus throughout the affected areas of our yard.)

So back to the well-drilling:
late on the second day they found water with pressure,
hopefully Spring water, but we will have to get it tested to verify.
So they removed the drill, replaced the drill pipe with pvc pipe,
and capped it over for the weekend.


Today the dowser came back, to see the results of the drillers.
We have spring water, from 105 meters down,
but with only enough pressure to move it 99 meters up towards the surface,
leaving us 6 meters short, and in need of some sort of pump.
This upcoming week, we will research our options and figure out what to do next.
Unfortunately, the well drilling was way more expensive than the estimate,
leaving us with no funds for a pump, or much of anything else, really.

In the meantime, I’ve been trying to rehabilitate our yard. For starters,
I have been putting all the grass clippings over the devastated driveway,
laying them over the sludge and filling in the ruts from the truck tires.
The clippings are full of seeds, to help regrow the mucked up areas.
We still need to scrap the clayish muck away from some of the fruit trees,

our sweet cherry tree under a few inches of muck

and then give them a proper mulching during the upcoming Root time.

And now that it’s switched over to Fruit time, the weather’s been much drier,
so Monday afternoon I did the silicon on the front wall of the bathroom.
And filled in the gaps of the insulation with scrap pieces of foam.
And after I started measuring out the wall for cutting the cork,
(which was challenging with the window frames and angled roof beams),
Mohamed got out the cork and we got to work, and are about half done.

our sweet cherry tree under a few inches of muck

Tomorrow is another day…
And the Winter Solstice!

So once our darkest day is over,
more light will shine,
improving our solar system for the foreseeable future.

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