Opportunities: available now in a small provincial town near you.

I've been in Biella for a few days now, and am still deciding if I really want to call this the 'final' destination of my summer trip, knowing that there is not such a thing and this can only be a new starting point, the prelude of a new trip, the dawn of a bright day still to come.

Sunrise on the dunes of the Erg Chebbi, Morocco.

Nevertheless, I feel I have to decide at least some of my next moves, and the most fundamental one at the moment is whether or not base myself here in small-town Italy for the next couple of months. I know it will be a time of research and preparation work that can easily be carried out anywhere, as long as I have a quite space and a good internet connection, but I still feel uneasy thinking at how grim and unexciting this place can be. On the other hand, London is always very close to my heart and maybe could be inspiring to be back in town for a little while without having to juggle with home bills to pay, cats to feed, school papers to write while trying to became a pro...

An event occurred the other day might just have had that little something that could influence my decision.

Claire and I were visiting Cittadellarte, a local arts and design foundation that run workshops and sustainability programs, temporary exhibitions and a gallery with the works of founder Michelangelo Pistoletto. I've myself discovered it rather recently, and every time we are in town we pay a visit to check out the latest in Biella's artist community. And as you imagine, every time we both are pleasantly
surprised and intrigued.

This time we found out about the existence of an artist-in-residence program called Unidee, i.e. Universita' della Idee, or University of Ideas in English — a program that has been on since 2000 apparently...where was I?...sometimes I strongly doubt of my investigative skills.

Every year 20 international artists are selected to gather in Biella, kindly hosted at Cittadellarte [Italian for City of the Arts, ndr], where, between June and October, they follow lectures and work on their own project, sometimes by themselves and often in collaboration with fellow residents. The focus is on "Art at the centre of the Responsible Transformation of Society," a concept that has been central in Claire's own artistic output in the last few months. Applications for next year's residence need to be sent by November 10, and she is working on hers as we speak... in

This made me think twice about going straight back to London and I see how perfect opportunities, and I run the risk to be trite here, can truly lie where we wouldn't usually look for them. Above all it is what we make of them that surely counts towards personal success, something that is usually regarded as the final end of our strivings, but that today I dare to see as both goal and the process we undergo to achieve it.*

* For more on this, please refer to Eckhart Tolle's book called A New Earth.
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