Ann McKenna’s studio is based in the small village of Kilcock in County Kildare. As a painter and print- maker, her work focuses on the narrative dimension of image making in which she explores diverse themes such as ancient Irish legends, fairy tales, Shakespearean plays and more recent stories such as James Joyce’s ‘Ulysses’. We caught up with Ann to see what makes her tick…
Who or what inspires you as an artist?
My work can best be described as narrative painting. I draw my ideas and inspiration from literary sources; from Irish legends to European fairytales, from Joyce’s Ulysses to Bronte’s Wuthering Heights and Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, to mention a few.
I’m interested in archaeology, early religious art and manuscripts and draw inspiration from these sources.
Is there a specific technique that you use?
I tend to paint with layers of thin washes, drawing the image out as I go. Strong draughtsmanship is essential to the narrative success of a piece. I also like to use 24ct gold leaf in some of my work, most especially in the Irish legend images, as I feel it gives a sense of the antiquity and powerfully iconic imagery contained within these legends.
Where can we buy your work?
My work can be seen by appointment from my studio in Kilcock, Co. Kildare. I also exhibit at events throughout the year, Artsource RDS in November, Dublin Horse Show RDS in August among others. The galleries I exhibit with are Gallery Zozimus, Frances Street, Dublin and Inniscarra Gallery, Rathcoole, Dublin. My website is www.annmckenna.ie where I have a selection of limited edition prints available to purchase.
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