Voyage de Retour by Eithne Jordan

Eithne Jordan, whose new paintings of Dublin are to be exhibited in November at the RHA, lives in France forsome monthseach yearatMontpeyroux, a village of the Languedoc. Three converging streets, each following its own wandering underground watercourse, decided Montpeyroux’s loose, strung-out form. Where they meet is the marketplace and a wine bar, the Terrace de Mimosa. The village houses, dating for the most part from the early 17thand 18thcenturies, are tightly terraced, each with its own internal well. Though all were designed to have cool cellars and dry lofts and living quarters principally on the first floor, they come in a variety of internal arrangements, many times revised over the centuries. Most are modest in scale with a couple of bedrooms and a kitchen; but packed in among these narrow houses are a few that have more spacious proportions, with rich internal plasterwork or perhaps an ornate balcony. These appear, long ago, to have combined the family home, workshop and storerooms of merchants or larger landholders. 

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Eithne Jordan at The MAC by Eithne Jordan

by Ben Street

Travel is, for the most part, not the nouns and verbs of time but its qualifiers and prepositions, the bits in between. Look at anyone’s travel photos, shared on social media: time and space are concertina’d into a single lofty peak whose valleys magically disappear in posterity, in imitation of our selective memories. The self-edited life isthe life. Past imperfect, present perfect. And yet we know that the experience of travel is really a series of protracted conjunctions in a sentence. Elided from an anecdotal afterlife – then we got here, then we waited there – these liminal moments are what constitute the majority of our lives. But looked at properly, they emanate a coiled energy, like a deep breath before a dive. Eithne Jordan’s paintings of cityscapes collectively present a modest proposal about travel: that every journey provides the receptive eye with an opportunity to find beauty in disorientation and estrangement.

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Small Worlds by Eithne Jordan

Small Worlds

The art of losing yourself in the paintings of Eithne Jordan

by Gemma Tipton

Whether you are drawn into one of her miniature pieces, beguiled into its world through the delicate delineations of detail and space; or whether you are standing before a larger work, vividly imagining the heat, sounds and smells of the city; Eithne Jordan’s paintings present places that are tantalisingly recognizable, yet discretely unreachable. Jordan’s painting is not about the icons of architecture, those glib clichés each city manufactures to put itself on the map of tourist consciousness. Instead, her travels capture side spaces, factory roofs, subway tunnels, the corners of courtyards, underpasses, blank walls; those non-places that art often tends to forget.

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