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[...]


creatures great & small

So this was going to be a post about all the flowers
I planted and transplanted during the Flower time.
(& an update on all the seeds & bulbs that have sprouted,
so in that regard, let’s start off with the hollyhocks
that sprouted in their bottle greenhouses by the bamboo fence.)

But life had other plans…

While I was planting flower bulbs over Nutella’s grave,
our Portuguese farmer neighbor lady came over
with the much anticipated kittens for Marmalade.
(While Mohamed & Marmalade were driving past their house,
she approached & asked Marmalade if she wanted a kitten,
as two were just born at her house in early April.
I’m sure if you ask most kids, they’d say “yes”
& ours was no exception. So a kitten we were getting.
Apparently, the two kittens bonded really well,
so a few weeks later she updated that she was giving us both.)

So Tuna and Zeitona
(Arabic for “olive” & similar to the Portuguese “azeitona”)
joined our clan last weekend.

We’ve had a bumpy start,
since Marmalade is used to dogs (& trained dogs at that)
so it has been a scratchy learning process for her.
And although I’m not really a cat-person, they are cute;
and it’s nice having critters around the house
(especially when they’re playing with each other & the beaded curtain).

But I’m happier with watching our toad and geckos outside;
and the fish and frogs in the pond.

So since my last entry,
the fish have been way more friendly.
I’ve seen all five of them a few times now,
and some I can actually watch for awhile
before they dart under the cover of the cattails.
It’s been really nice to watch them swim about.

And many of the frogs are getting used to us as well,
so instead of hiding we can watch them swim around the pond froggie style.

And at school yesterday,
Marmalade got two silkworms to bring home.
So now we also have two caterpillars in the house.
Lucky us.

Our yard is still full of butterflies,
lots of Painted Ladies and these Yellow Clouds:

And Monday was the Mercado in São Teotónio,
and we got two new trees: a hazelnut and another pomegranate
(this one has a few flower buds on it!)
So we’ll plant them on the Fruit time on Friday.

Also the Sebastians came over one afternoon over the weekend,
and brought us a huge solar panel: 225 watts/40 volts,
so it more than doubles our solar capacity,
probably enough to power our new water pump,
once Mohamed can figure out how to wire everything together.
So today we got another huge battery to capture the charge we’ll be generating,
and 25 meters of plastic tubing to connect the pump to the well,
and to the rest of our water system.

And we bought another irrigation hose,
since we’ve already laid the hoses down by the old orchard
(to water the nine trees for apples, pears, plums, and cherries);
and up on the hill by the eight blueberries,
but still have a lot of trees all over the hillside
that will all need water during the long, rainless summer months.

Mohamed is also in the process of burying halved plastic drums for ponds,
so that we have easy access to water throughout the yard.
And has hooked up a faucet so we now have an outdoor sink
(the actual ceramic sink we found dumpster diving last fall).
So our water system is slowly coming together,
to keep everything happily hydrated.

On a final note,
we finally finished the bamboo fence!


And during the Flower time,
I planted more sweet peas and a nasturtium
to grow in with all the hollyhocks and morning glories.

Leave a Comment (1)

co-director (m) wrote on May 3:

Uh-oh, Kittens!