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[...]


muito trabalho

Last week, one afternoon while I was out trimming grass,
one of our usual passersby leaned out of his van
and said “muito trabalho” (a lot of work).
I think he was complimenting us on all the yard work we have done,
but perhaps he was pointing out all the work left to do.
Either way, I said “Sí, indeed.”

It has been a lot of work,
and continues to be so.

This morning I must’ve cleared 5 square meters (45 square feet) of our yard,
waist-high grasses and other dried stems of wildflowers

from around a giant cactus, the bases of a few of the cork oak trees,
and a patch where we want to put another garden box.

After laying the grass on the patched and regraded driveway,
we’ve been adding mulch, bucketsful, until it feels almost like carpeting.
(We collect and scatter 8 big buckets and two sacks full of mulch each weekday,
and have been all month, and will continue to do so until we run out of mulch or yard.)
We are more than halfway up the driveway path, and halfway up the bamboo path, too.

Also, this past weekend was a Flower transplanting time,
so, as you might have guessed, we’ve transplanted a lot of flowers.
First, while out getting mulch, I dug up two huge clusters of a purple wildflower,
and replanted them in cork planters around the front of the house.
I had been eyeing them for awhile, as they’re really vibrant for January flowers,
and had been waiting until this transplanting time to bring some home.

And then, after clearing several barrels of blackberries from the ruin,
we were able to dig out and transplant more honeysuckles,
to weave into, and almost complete, our first stretch of honeysuckle fence.
(I had woven a gown out of Virginia creeper vines years ago,
and this fence project has tapped into that tactile memory.)

While finishing up weaving the last tendrils of honeysuckle,
I noticed something out the corner of my eye creeping along the fence.
At first I thought it might be a spider, but soon saw that it was a mantis,
a kind like I’d never seen before: brown, horned, with a curled scorpion-like tail.
Its movements were slow (maybe due to the chilly weather) yet precise,
and after two days it has remained on the fence, not far from where we met it.
I’m glad it’s moved in: “good fences make good neighbors!”

Otherwise, I’ve been baking,
(since it heats up the house, body and soul):
lots of muffins ( hokkaido squash-walnut
and carrot cakelets with cream cheese frosting),
and wholegrain sourdough rolls stuffed with melty cheese
(I accidentally made sourdough a weeks ago, when extra pizza dough went sour,
so I fed it and fed it and fed it again, and now has become a sourdough starter,
so a lot more sourdough baking projects await.)

And while the oven is on,
I’ve been roasting chestnuts.
Marmalade is absolutely nuts for them,


and we all can’t resist them fresh from the oven.
As an aside, I’d love to get a chestnut tree,
but I’m not sure it could survive here.
(They do grow in Portugal,
but from my experiences hiking in Italy,
they prefer colder, more mountainous settings.)

We also want to get a walnut tree,
and from our experience in Austria,
where they grew in sunny patches near lakes and streams,
we should be able to grow one in the sunny roadside near the pond.

We are nuts for nuts,
and they go well with all the fruit we are growing.
And they’d go great in all the muffins I’ve been baking.

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