"Galway officially ranked top three on my favorite cities I've ever visited. I didn't really know what Galway was going to be like to be honest, but I definitely did not expect it to be what it was."
Hi friends! I just finished my second week here in Ireland, and I wanted to say thank you to everyone who read my last blog post. I got a lot of engagement on it, and I am so glad that you all enjoy reading what I write! If you missed last weeks post you can read it here. Last week I left off on Tuesday which was just a relaxing day following my exciting weekend in Doolin.
Due to the busy weekend in Doolin, Wednesday was reserved for the studio and the studio only. I ended up riding my bike over to the college around 11am and ended up staying till about 8pm. I will say though there is definitely something nostalgic about riding a bike through the Irish countryside. On the way home a farm dog even chased me a little ways demanding to be pet. Anyway, I got several transfers done that day and even experimented with some transfers on wood blocks! I have been hesitant to share exactly what I am working on until I completely finish my series, but I will share that through polaroid transfers I will be exploring the fragility & fluidity of memories. I promise I will share a much more detailed post about my work once my residency is over, but for now you can follow me on Instagram @selfdiagnosis if you want to see more of my work as I am creating it.
On Thursday morning we had a lecture with Dr. Eileen Hutton. She talked to us about her studies in art and ecology while introducing us to several new forms of scientific photography. Although I am no scientist I found her work to be very interesting, especially her work with soil during The Soil Project Residency 2021. After lunch we visited with Patrick McCormack, who is a local poet here in the Burren. He was kind enough to take us on a tour of his beautiful farm and talk to us about life in the Burren as a farmer, Irish history, and even some advice on life. Throughout the tour he stopped to recite several poems to us, mostly about the beauty of nature. He was an incredibly wise man, and I appreciated his opinions on conservation and the blessing behind existing within nature. Towards the end of his tour he showed us the barn and even sheered a sheep for us! That was a super interesting experience, and we learned that the price of wool has gone down exponentially to the point where it's not worth very much at all. Patrick also told us that once a sheep is newly sheered the rest of the pack will not recognize them and they will all try to fight it; I guess you learn something new everyday! At the end of the tour Patrick invited us into his home where his lovely wife has made all of us homemade scones and tea; which I might add were absolutely delicious!
Photos from Patrick McCormack's Farm
By the time we got home from the farm we were exhausted; I had the absolute worst headache. However, we all had to rally and pack for our weekend trip to Galway. We woke up early on Friday morning and were out of the house by 8:30am ready to walk a mile into town to catch the bus to the city. Galway is directly across the bay from us so it took about an hour to get there. The bus ride was fine and it went pretty fast, but there was this one part that was absolutely hilarious. I guess as we were going through the narrow winding roads the bus lost a mirror. And without announcing anything to the passengers our driver puts the bus in park in the middle of the road and starts running away. I had never been more confused, but now I have a silly image of an old Irish bus driver running down the road burned into my memory. The best part was he got back on the bus like nothing even happened!
We arrived in Galway around 10:30am and from there we were completely free to explore the city! Being back in a city felt as though we were re-entering civilization again. We hadn't seen this many people walking around since we were at the airport; not even Doolin had this many people or things! To understand our level excitement I can say that Gabby was simply excited to find a pharmacy so she could get a new contact case, because there are absolutely none in Ballyvaughan (we've looked!). After we separated from the group we went to our hostel to drop off our bags. The hostel we stayed at was the Kinlay Hostel, and it was just a typical hostel not bad but nothing special either.