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[...]


reorienting: part two

An unfavorable day yesterday gave me a chance to step back;
and reflect on the Springtime we’ve just had,
and the visitors that have come and gone,
and, among other things, I realized that I never completed my thoughts in the previous post.
Most noticeably, that in the garden, I am constantly being humbled,
by the successes of randomness that happen at the fringes of my garden.

It is humbling.
Humbling is a good thing,
especially when we learn from it.
And I hope to learn a lot from these expressions of growth:


the tomatillos that I carefully tended aren’t thriving as well as the one that grew
from a seed that found its way to the Earth through a tear in the seed packet,
and now stunningly growing at the edge of Horta Nova.


Indeed it must’ve been sown at its favorable Fruit time,
since I would only have the packet outside then.
And indeed it fortunately fell onto cultivated soil,
between a sunflower and a hokkaido squash plant.
And I left the seedling to grow because it looked friendly.
Undeterred, I will plant more tomatillos tomorrow during the Fruit trine,
to see if I can encourage more to reach their full potential.

Also humbling (& delicious!) is the experimental flowerpot
that was filled with the soil from unsprouted seed cups.
Although growing in an overcrowded space with limited soil,
these bush beans have grown larger, lusher, and more bountiful than their garden rivals.
The tomato is twice as large as any of its relatives in the garden,
and the dill is just incredible.

Funny, I’ve tried numerous times to grow dill,
but the seeds’ requirements have proved daunting.
Luckily, some of our compost was chock-full of dill seeds,
that seem to sprout and thrive wherever they are planted:
with the lettuce, in the artichoke patch, in with a blueberry,
next to the loofahs, and even in flowerpots of morning glories.

Sure, seed sprouting is a miracle of chance,
and every seed will not survive, no matter where its sown, and when;
and I have no idea how many accidental seedings didn’t sprout.
But for those that do, the plants are incredible.
Awe-inspiring, even; for I am in awe.

And I am inspired:
to save the seeds from these mammoth dill plants,
hoping that they will thrive here like their parents.

Unexpectedly, I’ve really gotten into seed-saving,
allowing many of the best garden plants to go to seed.
Sure, to observe their process and harvest the seeds for future crops,
but mostly to honor their purpose in their life…
why they sprouted in the first place.

Speaking of sprouting,
my arugula-kale cross-breeding experiment is showing great promise:
several green rosettes have sprouted in the garden,
not quite arugula, not quite kale,
but an edible tender green when cooked,
growing underneath and around the tomatoes
and thriving in the heat of the summer season
when the arugula and kale don’t do so well.
I have been hulling tons of these seeds,
half a jar from the arugula parents
and half a jar from the kale plants;
enough for continuous cultivation forever.

The morning glories grown from our seeds are incredibly vibrant,
more so than others planted from purchased or gathered seeds,
and more colorful, lush and plentiful than their parent plants
from a windowsill patch from Marmalade’s room in Austria.

Reorientation is about adapting
to whatever gets thrown at you.
The rouge tomatillo and volunteer dill reminded me of this lesson.
That life is about surviving, and adapting, in order to thrive.

Leave a Comment (1)

co-director (s) wrote on Jun 27:

And our morning glories are just sprouting right now -- I've been in our mini-petite yard a lot too (and been meaning to send you some photos!) I'm trying to imagine how differently your farm now looks like from what we saw!!