Some people have cats, some people have dogs but Geraldine's pet appears to be a woolly ram in this wonderfully playful, slightly surreal and evocatively naive painting by Ann Griffin-Bernstorff. In 'Geraldine and her Ram', both have one foot (or hoof) daintily raised and Geraldine is looking fondly at her charge, the lead held loosely in her hand.
Featuring in her first solo exhibition in many years, opening at Dublin's Peppercanister Gallery (telephone: 01-6611279) next Tuesday, it conveys a real sense of affinity between this unlikely pair. And this ability to relate a layered story through a single canvas carries throughout Countess Bernstorff's work, which is united by her delicate palette, rounded lines and her strong sense of illustration.
Born in Limerick, Countess Bernstorff has been painting since childhood and has always cherished the past, the present and the beautiful in her work.
She trained as a horticulturist in France before eventually returning to Ireland and to an early Georgian house in Wexford, that was once the residence of the philosopher Bishop Berkeley. She is the creator of the Ros Tapestry Project, commemorating the arrival of the Normans in Ireland.
With this new exhibition, she confirms herself as an artist with considerable talent combined with a healthy sense of fun.