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[...]


moonfarming

It has taken us a few days to recover from all our visitors,
(and get back into what we can only consider “normal life”),
and are still catching up with all the household chores,
but who really wants to hear about dishes and laundry?

How about feeding the fishes?
They’re really getting big!

And relocating the tadpoles?
Well, some from two egg batches ago, are really almost frogs;
but when they get into the watering can, they go to the pond.

And outside we have made some headway:
Mohamed kinda got the gravity pump to work,
but after an initial gush of water, the flow tapers off.
So we’ve decided that we really need a low-power d.c. pump,
powered by its own solar panel and loader,
in order to be able to fully access the water in our well.

And as recommended by Felipe after touring our canal source,
(& Mohamed has wanted to tear out the whole system),
Mohamed has been re-engineering the canal water system,
reworking it to take advantage of the natural flow of the water:
removing some of the unnatural plastic basins and hoses,
(that were trying to force the water through a narrow & unnatural course)
and instead building a dam a little downstream from the source,
to form a pond to collect and settle the water,
reducing sediment in the remaining pipes.

So since Mohamed built the dam,
we have had incredible water pressure!
So we have been using our sprinkler and sprayers,
rotating around to fully saturate our yard.
And fill Marmalade’s swimming pool.

And with Jorge’s help, we’ve agreed on a cork cutter
to harvest the cork from the big trees by our house.
(The cork man said our others trees were too inaccessible,
& so, if we make trails, we could harvest them another summer).
We’ve even already been paid when they last stopped by,
and the work was scheduled for Friday, an ideal Stem day.
But this is Portugal, and things happen in their own time.
I’m really curious to see the process.

We had another mini-heat wave,
and are thankfully back into really pleasant weather.
(& the butterflies have indeed been enjoying it!)

And I finally got a video of a butterfly drinking nectar from the sunflower:

video of butterfly drinking nectar from one of our sunflowers

Which is good because there is so much still to do,
especially trimming the grasses and wildflower seeds,
which will now get watered frequently and hopefully start sprouting.

And harvesting: lots of broccoli and onions,
which Marmalade and I made into a broccoli fermented sauerkraut,
(inspired by Nadine’s urging to get back into fermenting
& my mom bringing over several more mason jars to fill).
And I’ve been harvesting bunches of the rainbow mix carrots,
which go into pretty much everything.

And lots of lemon cucumbers. Yum!

And, before it flipped out of Northern transplanting time,
we transplanted to create another three sisters garden
into the old compost bin to befriend the loofah squash:


thirteen honey and cream sweet corn seedlings,
intermixed with nine soaked pink-eyed peas,
and six melon seedlings transplanted on the side near the wild mint
(having recently read that melons & mint are companion plants).

Our original three sisters planting in Horta Nova is doing well;
vibrant, even. The resident frogs seem to keep the bugs at bay,
and everyone seems to be growing nice and lush…

Which might have something to do with the seaweed fertilizer,
since I’d been applying it fairly heavy-handed throughout the heatwave.
I’ve already used the first 5 liter Fruit time fermented seaweed fertilizer,
and am halfway through the first Flower time fermented fertilizer.
I still have more of each Fruit and Flower, and some Leaf time fermenting.
(Aside from the main fertilizing nutrients & trace elements,
the seaweed is loaded with microbes & other living organisms,
which must have some beneficial purpose, other than just being free fertilizer.)

Even the echinacea (purple coneflowers) are loving the seaweed,
and have already begun to open up their flower buds.

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