Originally posted on butlergallery.com
The Butler Gallery was delighted to present an exhibition of new gouaches and paintings by Eithne Jordan, one of Ireland’s leading painters.
This body of work was made during Jordan’s one-year residency at the Tony O’Malley Studio on Bridge Street in Callan, County Kilkenny. Armed with a camera and intrepid walking legs, Jordan captured and recorded what she encountered on her frequent walks about Callan and the surrounding countryside. Carefully studying the assembled images back in the studio, tough decisions were made as to which to dedicate to painting.
Jordan was particularly struck by the vernacular architecture, both the remarkable and the unremarkable, encountered throughout the countryside. This eclectic miscellany of both public and domestic buildings is imbued with character and atmosphere. Familiar bungalows are made singular by their owner’s use of faux Georgian pillars or decorative stone cladding. A melancholic cottage sits abandoned and boarded up, just like so many others throughout this country. Jordan deftly captures a pink-hued sky just before the sun sets; a water tower, a church ruin, leafless trees, each are silhouetted against the late evening light. The unmistakable architecture of a local convent looms tall and makes its presence felt within the landscape. An empty football pitch borders a ghost estate, awaiting the animation of games to come.
Tony O’Malley’s early works captured the essence of his beloved Kilkenny. Eithne Jordan has taken her own path through his familiar landscape, tenderly responding in her inimitable way, distinguished by her particular eye and life experience.