Update from the Burren

Updates from the Burren

On the weather front: clouds, rain, sun, repeat.

We are in “crunch time.” Our closing exhibition is this coming Friday, July 3rd at 1800 hours. The title of our exhibition is “Erratics.” I’m sure that most of you know that an erratic is a large (or small) stone/boulder that has been transported from its natural home to another place via glaciers during the ice age. As the ice melted these boulders were deposited in their new home. The Burren is littered with erratics and for some of us there is a parallel between the relocated stone and 15 relocated students.

Today, July 1st, was a hectic day of trying to complete projects, write artist’s statements, preparing the exhibition space, paint, print, and polish. Studio spaces are in the process of being converted to exhibition spaces, posters are being distributed throughout the area advertising the opening, and everyone has become part of a collaborative effort to finish up successfully. We have one more full day to pull all of this together before artist’s materials, cameras, and artwork are prepared for travel.

We have a tradition that students will prepare a meal for all to enjoy at least once prior to departure. Students are living in three separate houses, each with its own kitchen. Each house is preparing one part of the meal in their kitchen and then everything will end up at one house for dinner. Matthew took a representative from each house shopping this morning for ingredients. Not exactly sure how this will turn out but it has been pretty successful in the past. [update on the update!] The meal was amazing: steak, root vegetables, quinoa cakes wrapped in bacon, mac and cheese, salad, pasta, and ice cream and more.

After dinner, everyone is getting together at O’Lochlan’s Pub where a faculty member from Johns Hopkins will be playing his harmonica and our students will be performing with their instruments and singing. When you think “harmonica” please don’t envision sitting around a campfire with that soulful “home, home on the range” playing in the background. This guy can play and our students match him step for step in the vocal and instrumental department. A great way to blow off a little steam in the midst of controlled chaos.

I will be posting plenty of photographs in the next day or so. Images to look forward to will be: photos of the houses where our students have been staying, our dinner together, preparation of the studio spaces for the exhibition, our opening, musical performances and miscellaneous images that will help you visualize what this experience has been like for our students.

I will also be posting my “Farewell to Ballyvaughan” as my time at the Burren College of Art will end with this Arts In Ireland 4 group. Time to pass the torch.