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Welcome To Ballyvaughan | My First Week in Ireland

Updated: Jun 7, 2022

Long time no see friends! It's been a couple months since I've been on here, but I am back on the move again; this time to Western Ireland! I arrived here last Monday after a 7 hour flight from Newark the evening before. I am living in a small village called Ballyvaughan which is nestled on the western coast of Ireland, and I will be here until mid-June. You may be wondering: "what the hell are you doing in rural Ireland for a month?". Well, to answer your question: I am here for an art residency. For the duration of my stay I will studying at the Burren College of Art working on a photographic series and having an intimate exhibition at the end of my time here. I plan on writing more about my series in a later post, but for the time being I can share that I will be exploring the landscape in the Burren through polaroid emulsion lifts.

If you've been reading my blog for some time you know I lived in London with my two best friends Mandy and Sydney, and that our time in London was cut short due to covid. So in order to make up for our lost time I convinced them to do this art residency with me! So for a second time we are all living together abroad and this time around we have another roommate: Gabby!

(Left to Right: Gabby, Me, Mandy, & Sydney)

With that said, I wanted to share with you all my experience within the first week of living here. I have traveled and lived in a lot of places; from the Arizona desert all the way to one of the busiest cities in the world, London, and I can say this place is like no other. The way of life here is incredibly simple and without a doubt peaceful; from the rolling hills to the cows at every turn (I swear there are more cows than the 250 residents that live here).

Thinking back to last week when I stepped off the plane in Shannon feels like an eternity ago. Taking a red eye meant we had to do the timezone dance where we had to avoid sleep at all costs to adjust to our new home. This was not our first rodeo we knew the rules. Rule #1 Do not sit on your bed. Rule #2 Do not even look at your bed because if you look at it you will find yourself thinking about it and then by proxy sitting on it and then BOOM you've broken rules 1 & 2 already. And most importantly Rule #3 when you get tired keep pushing and that is exactly what we did that first day.

We settled into our housing which is nicknamed the "Bungalow", and I might add it is a total upgrade from our flat in London! We claimed our bedrooms and started unpacking everything. Once we were all settled in we had to keep our energy up, and we did this by taking a walk over to the college. We took it upon ourselves to give ourselves the welcome tour to campus, and decided to stake our claim on the studio spaces we wanted before everyone else arrived on campus the following day. Later in the evening we took the mile walk down towards the village and there we met up with everyone else for our dinner reservations. The one thing I find absolutely hilarious about rural Ireland is the high-vis vests pedestrians must wear when walking on the road so if you see photos of me looking like a construction worker please mind your business I'm just trying to get to where I'm going! That night we ate dinner at a local restaurant called The Wild Atlantic. By the time we got back to our house we were absolutely exhausted and ready to lay down in our beds for real this time.

The next day was our first studio day! We started the morning with meeting the founder of the college, Mary Hawkes Greene, and got the official tour of campus. After settling into our