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[...]


golden flowers & other great “jungle” finds

During our long holiday weekend,
we decided to take a family expedition into the “jungle”
(Marmalade’s name for the surrounding forests)
to explore the other 85% of our property,
a ravine that hasn’t been tended in generations.
And so, “jungle” seems quite accurate,
as we needed pruning shears simply to clear ourselves a walking path,
and still couldn’t get all the way through to the other side of our land.

We did find a tranquil hidden valley,
one valley past the one with a stream running through it,
so the third valley, counting from our home’s valley, uphill.

One the path home,
we found a few clusters of chanterelles,
including the largest chanterelle I’ve ever seen!

Through a slit in its cap,
a few rosettes of gills were pushing through,
looking very much like flower petals.

Otherwise, we’ve discovered that our “jungle” was really a cultivated valley,
as, aside from all the eucalyptus trees up on top of the first ridge,
it is filled with cork oaks, three giant pine nut trees, and dozens of madrone
(an understory tree with small prickly edible fruits usually distilled into a strong liquor).
With all of these special trees, it seems unlikely that this was a wild forest.

And walking through again a few days later,
it seems like a longterm goal to clear out the thorny vines
that are climbing up the madrone and cork oaks,
shading their leaves, preventing healthy growth,
and making the “jungle” nearly impassable.

We had to go on our most recent “jungle” journey
to try to unblock the water system (again),
so that canal water can flow into the pond.
The water had slowed over the past few days,
so that the pond wasn’t be replenished as quickly as it seeped out,
and although the frogs still seemed okay,
I was getting nervous about their low water levels.

When checking in on them in the early afternoon,
the tree-frogs were clinging to the cattails,
while several frogs were happily floating around.
And finally I was able to get a clear photo
of the (formerly elusive) striped frog.

As you can see, if has an asymmetrical lime green stripe on its back,
and although we knew it was somewhat striped,
we could never before make out its pattern
as it always dove in whenever we got near.

We’ve also discovered that we have two smaller striped frogs
that look related to the frog in the well from Rogil.
And a larger brownish frog with darker brown spots on its back.
And that the tree frogs are quite at home in our yard,
and won’t be limited to the pond,
as I found this one on an onion!

Speaking of elusive neighbors,
three properties uphill from us has an incredible collection of birds:
all kinds of rare chickens, all manner of ducks and geese,
and a pair of green (or Java green) peacocks
(okay, technically peafowl, as there is a peacock & a peahen).
We drive by their property twice almost daily,
(going & coming home, & usually only seeing chickens & geese)
and so far had only seen one or the other of the peafowl a handful of times,
and usually briefly, as they’ll bolt inside their shrubbery
when they noticed their being watched.
Once we were able to watch the peacock for awhile,
as it was strutting and sorta presenting itself the way peacocks do.
We’d never seen this type before and find its coloration absolutely stunning,
jaw-droppingly stunning. Wow.

(Our blurry photo, out our car window & through a fence,
can’t possibly do them justice, so here is a clearer image from the intersphere).

And further afield, about half way to the nearest market,
our Swiss friends have a very friendly donkey.


(They moved here to a really nice house on 11 hectares,
with a pond, gazebo, swimming pool, workshop, and stable,
with the resident donkeys included in the sale.)


Marmalade has been itching to ride a pony again
(ever since she first rode a few ponies during our visit last Spring to Bahrain)
and although the donkey won’t walk around with anyone on his back,
he’ll happily stand still while Marmalade happily sits on his back.
Fortunately, they have a four year old son, Sebastian,
who plays really well with Marmalade.
So I’m sure we’ll be seeing them a lot more over time.

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