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[...]


grounded in the ground (& floating in the sea)

On either side of the super favorable Fruit time,
we have had two Leaf times,
which are associated with Water.

water time

So it seems fitting to hit the beach on these days:
collecting seawater for cooking pasta and soups,


collecting seaweed for homemade fertilizer tea,
gathering washed-up fishing ropes for woven carpets,
grabbing driftwood for the playhouse and outdoor shower,
and for swimming, of course.
Lots of swimming.
We love swimming.

And communing with the nautical nature,
including the various mollusks and crustaceans,
and checking in on the storks nesting cliffside.


Their little storklets are really visible when you’re out swimming,
yet less so from the shore where I felt safe using our camera.

Every time we are at the ocean
I think “we should do this more often” and yet, we do.
Since it’s gotten warm, we go about every other day.
Thank goodness. For these mini-vacations.

Because this Fruit time has been a doozy.
We got everything that was ready transplanted
into the Three Sisters Garden in Horta Nova:
29 strawberry popcorn seedlings,
26 hokkaido squash seedlings,
and nine Käferbohnen beans.

(Because of the scale of this project,
and the fact that it is now Ramadan,
we did most of this work under the moonlight,
pulling two very long nights in a row to get it in.
It reminded us of past sculptural projects,
up til stupid-o’clock in the morning
frantically trying to meet a deadline.)

Yet this was more relaxed, more serene,
more of a quiet spiritual time,
as each planting is a prayer, isn’t it?
Asking whoever to please watch over these seedlings.
The Three Sisters planting has always been a sacred planting,
as the Sisters: corn, squash and beans are held as sacred plants,
goddesses, if you will, that provide sustenance and life itself.

I also transplanted the nine chickpeas into the garden,
because I really love chickpeas, as the legume, yes, but also the plant.
The leaves are unique, the pods very sculptural, the peas so cool.
And I put the two watermelon seedlings in the agave hole near the pond,
and the three golden popcorn seedlings in with the tomatillos.


And although I thought I’d run out of time,
I also got the last two Mexican cucumbers
and four orange bell peppers into the garden.
And planted a few more bush beans,
as the first have begun flowering,
(& successive plantings ensure a longer harvest,
without being inundated with ripe produce all at once).

We also transplanted the three new golden raspberries
to fill in between the two we got at the mercado in April.
We ate the first golden raspberry in the morning while transplanting:
as promised, it is a sweeter, less tart, but very flavorful berry.
We’ve also been sampling the gooseberries,
as a few seem ripe each morning.
Delicious. Great flavor.

And their Portuguese name “Uva Crispa” makes sense
because “uva” are grapes and they really do seem like crisp grapes,
though they grow on a low, thorny bush,
that sends out low branches to reroot.
I accidentally unearthed one runner while weeding this Spring,
and potted it up, thinking to grow it and then gift to friends.
Now that I’ve tasted them,
I am eager to propagate more runners,
and establish a whole gooseberry patch.

But in the meantime,
I think we need a few days off from planting.
And as we have four days of Root time,
we will be taking that break from hole digging.
And harvesting the radish seeds.
And rooting sweet potato sprouts.

Yet Aldi has berry bushes on sale tomorrow morning,
so we might be bringing home more than groceries,
and have a few more holes to dig next week.

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