Residency: October 2007
These sculptures explore the human condition through the depiction of characters adapting to their found habitats and evolving within society. Each character’s sculpture is handmade of found materials collected from the site, as if made by herself.
The work itself is an investigation of adaptation; an exploration of fairy tale characters interacting with this world. Not focusing on the “happily ever after” but at the moment of decision of adaptation to their new journey, and to their new habitat. Of Cinderella’s fairy godmother creating something from nothing, Of lost women being alone in the woods, Of the origins and destinations of the countless tales of our modern mythologies.
I began investigating fairy tales with a series of ‘candywrapper ballgowns.’ Using Cinderella’s fairy godmother as the inspiration to create exquisite gowns from garbage I collected on the streets in Cairo. This concept of creating something enchanted from nothing is taken further with ‘garden of delights,’ a paradisiacal garden installation handmade from detritus.
Upon returning home, the natural world became my focus as I began searching for the origins of humanity and the natural connections that bind us to the land. The ‘domestication’ series explored characters creating a home within their found habitat, focusing on the of the journey where the path originates.
These sculptures are divergent, Specific to sites in nature, chosen for their isolation and wilderness. The process of gathering and creation allows each character to investigate their habitat and their own domestication. The documentation appears as wildlife photography, Capturing these characters in their habitat, Living within their life. All explore the dynamic of self, of the journey, Of creating a domestic space for oneself, Living out a fantastical life Handmade from the raw materials gathered around.
About the Artist
Marisa Di Paola was born barefoot & grew up in the cedar swamps of southern New Jersey. She graduated with honors from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2000, majoring in painting. She received a travel grant for independent study at La Mezquita, Cordoba, Spain, which began a collection of travels to 14 countries, producing site-specific artworks in Spain, Japan, and Iceland, and entire bodies of work at residencies in India and Egypt. At this point, Marisa is nomadic, surviving on little sleep and much wandering. She creates wearable site-specific sculptures, based on an autobiographical evolution of fairy tale characters.