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[...]


Spring showers bring lots of flowers

We’ve just had another string of rainy days,
and as usual, they came as passing waves,
with sparkling sunshine peeking in between.
And once, a rainbow…

It started during a few days of Root time,
and I’m sure all the root plants are happy;
as the carrot package specifically said
“keep seedbed and seedlings moist at all times”

Though these passing showers are also great
for the newly transplanted berry bushes,
and all the seeds I’ve sown in the garden.
The magenta leaves of the amaranth
are beginning to push through the soil surface,
and I’m sure the radicchio and quinoa won’t be far behind.

Over the weekend it became a Flower time,
but the rains (& an “Unfavorable time” Saturday afternoon)
kept me from doing much planting and other gardening.
We did buy a sweet cherry tree on Saturday,
so Sunday afternoon, during breaks in the rain,
Mohamed dug it a new home and planted it in.

Some of the sweet peas and nasturtiums have emerged,
and this upcoming weekend’s Flower time I’ll be starting more of each,
as well as seeds for some poppies and purple lupines.

By the way, the wild yellow lupines have transplanted well,
evidenced by the flower buds opening in succession.

I’ve noticed a lot of low-growing sunflower-like wildflowers,
first in the neighbor’s cornfield and now a few clusters roadside.
So next Flower time, I plan to bring some over to our yard.
(It’ll be a Transplanting time again, so a perfect time to move them!)

Saturday afternoon we had a get-together at our place:
the Swiss family we met at class, and Cristina, our Portuguese teacher,
who is actually a botanist; and came over to help us identify
some of the incredible diversity of wild plants growing on our land.
Since our chunk of forest hasn’t been disturbed in generations,
a lot of rare Mediterranean woodland plants are growing there,
and many of them beginning to bloom.

Leave a Comment (4)

codirector (s) wrote on Mar 31:

This is really interesting; I tried to look up an "unfavourable time" associated with some lunar cycle farming calendar but did not find much so thought it must be very specific. I don't know if you've noticed it but our ex-resident Milena Kosec, whose 2-year on-hiatus project was organic gardening, is from Slovenia. She might be interested in knowing about this farmer! When we visited her last year, she told us that organic gardening was becoming so popular there, and also, in the past, the government used to give small allotments to encourage people to do organic gardening. We learn so many different things in our "hiatus community" (:

marisa wrote on Mar 31:

Yes, I guess it can seem complicated.
We use the Maria Thun Biodynamic Calendar.
Unlike most calendars, this studies not just the lunar cycle,
but also all planets movement through the cosmos,
tested through trials for over fifty years,
to generate their specific planting/ cultivation days.
(We discovered Maria Thun's research while Mohamed was pursuing his Masters Degree in Biomimetics. Once we saw she published a calendar, we got it.
Though a farmer we visited in Slovenia convinced us of its effectiveness;
he had used the Thun calendar for over twenty years & had such lush orchards & happy animals; so wonderful was his property that a stray peacock moved in to call it home!)

From all that I've read,
they believe the cosmos is directly affecting the microorganisms in the soil,
as much as the plants you are cultivating.
So there should be no soil work, nor planting/transplanting done during an Unfavorable time,
typically because of contradictory forces from an unfavorable cosmic alignment.

"Unfavorable" refers to it not being a good time to touch the soil & anything you are growing.
You may still harvest, for that day's meals, as freshest is best;
but nothing will keep fresh for long when picked during an Unfavorable time.

For us, it's usually a day to catch up on housework.
Or go to the beach.

co-director (s) wrote on Mar 28:

So what really happens (or not happens) during an "unfavourable time"? you are not supposed to do any agricultural moves? It is a very specific almanac you follow?

Lee Churchill wrote on Mar 27:

So lovely!