Ann Griffin-Bernstorff is a native of Co. Limerick. Having trained as a horticulturist in France, she won the Taylor Art Scholarship in 1963, which saw her move to Paris to study at the Atelier Yves Brayer and Ecole des Beaux Arts. Subsequently returning to Ireland, Ann came to Dublin where she spent five years training and working as a picture restorer.
Ann’s art is encouraged by a number of influences. Having amassed a fine collection of antique dolls and costumes, her work conveys playful, almost storybook scenarios. She looks to Botticelli as well as early Dutch and Flemish artists. Even at a glance, the influence of the Old Masters is evident, but at the same time Ann’s work inspires an element of fun, drawn straight from her own imagination. The figures depicted in her paintings are plump and pale faced, their attire plucked from a stage costume wardrobe. Each scene is whimsical, often portraying brightly painted images of mythical creatures before a theatrical backdrop.
The on-going Ros Tapestry Project is a momentous community scheme based on art and history within the town of New Ross, County Wexford. The project aims to produce
a tapestry comprised of fifteen large panels, each telling the story of the Normans coming to Ireland in the twelfth century. Ann acted as historian for the venture as well as painting the cartoons for each panel, while an assembly of volunteers continue work on the stitching of each section.
Ann’s work is to be found in the following Irish public collections: the Office of Public Works, National Self Portrait Collection, University of Limerick and the Lambert Modern Art Collection, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Kilmainham, Dublin.
She has exhibited widely in Dublin, Wexford and Derry and internationally in London, Chicago, New York and Miami. She held her most recent solo exhibition in the Peppercanister Gallery in November 2006. Ann’s work also appears in private collections in Ireland, UK, Denmark and USA.
Ann continues to live and work in Co. Wexford