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[...]


just another long day

When I’m awoken this morning,
the sky above is full of brilliant stars,
as if I had been asleep in a planetarium.

The night sky here is incredible.
And I sleep directly under a window.
And Marmalade wakes me up every morning,
like an alarm clock sometime between six and seven.

There is no light pollution whatsoever,
once Yves, the French bamboo farmer neighbor,
goes to bed, which is around 8 or 9 pm (20:00-21:00).

Before bedtime, Orion is huge above our front door,
and the Dipper is filling the Northern sky.

In the early morning,
my eyes are too bleary
to make out any constellations,
and by the time I’ve had my cup of coffee,
the sun is arriving from the East and a whole new sky delights:
pastel shades reflecting off a misty and frozen wonderland.

Today we have had a long day…

After Marmalade was dropped off at school
(during which time I was home trimming more overgrowth),
and the wood chips were collected and scattered,
(and planted a bamboo that was torn by a tractor and left roadside)
we had to go find the veterinarian in town,
recommended by the cafe owner in our village,
as one of Nutella’s cancerous tumors has grown,
and appears to be oozing and causing her discomfort.

I’m always nervous at the vets,
knowing there isn’t any really good news,
with a ten year old that has cancer and numerous tumors.
(I first found one small tumor on Nut when picking her up from friends,
after a few weeks away visiting family in Bahrain in the Spring of 2013.
During surgery to remove it in the summer of 2015,
the vet noticed this pea-sized one.
But it was too hot and too soon to operate again.)

So our midmorning began there.
Fortunate the vet and her assistant were lovely people,
compassionate and helpful, cleaning her tumor,
giving her antibiotics and pain killers,
and medicine for the few days until our next visit.

And while in town, we did a load of laundry,
as they have laundry machines in the parking lot outside the grocery store
(at 4€ per load, including eco-detergent, saving me 4 hours of hand washing).

And since it’s a Water day, and we were running dangerously low,
we went to the Spring and filled up our bottles with water.
The Spring is in a nice meadow, a little South of town,
with a catch basin pond and lots of wildflowers.


(We probably won’t be going there much longer,
as once we find a suitable pump and filter we will be using our well instead.
But for now, we enjoy going there, often having chance meetings with some other locals.)

Then we ran home to drop off water and hang the laundry to dry in the sun,
added some more bamboo posts to continue the fence,


before heading out again for more roadside mulch collecting,
and then picking up Marmalade from her kindergarten.

By the time I had dinner made and eaten (French toast & strawzzies)
and firewood cut and inside, the sky turned pastel.


The stars were coming out again,
ready for their nighttime display.

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