Artist Residency at Alba: The House of Shared Talents
Charleroi, Belgium

I arrived at Alba: The House of Shared Talents residency in Charleroi, Belgium, at the end of March 2021 carrying a very heavy book in my backpack, Globes by Peter Sloterdijk. Melanie came and picked me up from the train station. As I discovered the house for the first time, I became very aware that it was filled with small terrestrial globes. I was very sure I was going to move to Europe for good and was looking for a temporary place where I could complete my thesis writing until I figured things out. When I saw the terrestrial globes, I knew this was the only place where I could finalize the project, as a section of my writing was dedicated to writing about our perception of Earth through the symbol of the globe.

My dear friend, Melanie, offered me a place to stay at Alba. As described by Melanie, Alba is "The first glow of the rising sun that is beginning to whiten the horizon." But also, in the literary sense, "The Beginning." The blank page. That special moment of the day when everything is to be written, where everything can still be dreamed of. An immutable cycle. A moment of grace, foresight, contemplation. ALBA is the awakening of our talents."

I've worked more than 12 hours per day during my time there, sometimes not even leaving the house. It was not easy to isolate at this degree, but necessary.

I remember expressing the intention of wanting to find an overhead projector, only to find it two days later sitting at the entrance of my room. I have no idea where Melanie found one, but this is the degree to which she looks after those she deeply cares about. She also restored an old Italian consulate from scratch, finding all the resources to make her dream come true in order for others to create and to become.

My residency ended in May, and I returned to the US.

I am very grateful to Melanie and Alba for having had the time, space, and silence to work.