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[...]


incredible winter weather

While it’s been so nice outside, we’ve been continuing to work on the house,

 

using the cork siding scraps to replace the foam sections of our façade.
This weekend, we worked on the coldest, dampest, shadiest part of our house,
the section on the North side where the bathroom joins to the kitchen,
which turned out to be a much larger project than we originally hoped.
This section of wall was filled with styrofoam and spray insulation foam,
and besides being an eyesore, it was very welcoming to the mice,
who easily bored a hole through the mishmash of foam,
which caused the wood directly underneath to rot,
allowing them, and anything else, an access into the bathroom wall.

So after scraping out all of the old foam,
Mohamed cut away and replaced a section of rotted wood,
and added two more panels of wood that were missing.
Then another tube of silicon to seal the seams and fill the mouse-holes,
and the roofline of the kitchen and the far wall of our bedroom.
Then we cut and fitted the cork into the cleared out space,
which will hopefully keep the bathroom warmer,
since the mouse-hole went directly from the outside into the bathroom,
into a section of spray foam surrounding the sewage pipe next to the toilet,
causing an unpleasant draft during the cool morning hours.

Otherwise, during the Fruit time, I finished weeding and mulching all of the old fruit trees,
so they should be prepared for any cold spells that might befall us before Spring.
And Marmalade and I planted more peas and snow peas in the garden.

And I spent the afternoon moving and arranging natural cork pieces around our house
(I’ve found a huge pile of cork bark while clearing away the blackberries from the ruin,
some large sheets, great for the sidewalk, some smaller flat pieces for stepping stones,
and some hollowed-out rounds, perfect to fill with soil and use as planters.

Meanwhile, the birdsong and warm weather has really been invigorating…
never did we imagine the weather would be so nice here!
Speaking of birds, we have a small robin who keeps coming to visit,
at first stopping at the doorstep, but recently venturing further,
under the table in the living room, then exploring everywhere; and frequently,
several times a day walking into a room and seeing him perched on something.

Since yesterday it turned into Root time,
I started soaking some organic rainbow beet seeds
for sowing this afternoon after Marmalade returned from school.
She gets a bit impatient while I’m preparing the soil,
but she’s very diligent while planting,
ensuring the seeds go where they should
and covering over them once planted.
She’s shown so much growth while gardening.
(Thanks Dad for the seeds!)

This morning was our coldest yet, frost everywhere,
even our pond had a thin layer of ice on top.
Our water lines were frozen until mid-morning,
but the house remained relatively warm from the fire the night before,
so I guess all the cork siding and silicon caulking has worked.

A little after dawn, the sun started melting the frost on the hillside,
and by mid-morning the sun was hot, it became a really warm day.
So much so that we decided to seek shade for our afternoon project:
felling a tree in the woods.

Awhile back, after a windstorm,
I noticed a dead eucalyptus tree leaning across a trail in the woods.
It was a big tree, and already dead, so perfect for firewood,
and yielding enough wood for us to keep warm all winter,
probably with extra for cooking out in the Springtime.

It was solid, hard as hell to saw through,
and hard to actually get to the ground,
as the top was caught up on the hillside across the path.
But eventually we got it into pieces and dragged it home.

All in all. it was a lovely afternoon in the woods,
with the birdsong and the babbling stream,
and the incredible smell of eucalyptus in bloom.

And warm.
There was a bumper sticker I once saw in Vermont:
“cut your own wood and it warms you twice”
I like collecting firewood: finding it, sawing it, dragging it home.
I like building fires, I like the bone-warming heat they provide,
the glow, the whispery wind through the stove when the flames flare up…

What an incredible winter.

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