Let's Play

Sal Jones, 2020                        

Oil on canvas

Size: W80 x H100cm

Sal celebrates paint. She delights in colour and the way her oil paint moves to capture human reactions in snatched moments frozen in time. Her fictional characters have been used to communicate a wider idea of human nature. The paintings depict subjects in states of unease and emotional turmoil. They have been inspired by the flawed and the troubled. The paintings can be construed as part conversations, part musings, into which the viewer is drawn, willingly or not, into the world of the subject, both in a voyeuristic and complicit way. Filmic references coupled with expressive mark making are used to comment on contemporary life, where the cross-over between the fictional and the real in a society have become ever-more confused.

Sal frequently gets inspiration from film and television where she matches the dialogue, that forms the title of the work, with different scenes to capture bits of the story and plays with our reactions to familiarity and innuendo. This work is inspired by the character Beth Harman (played by Anya Taylor-Joy) in The Queens Gambit (a recent mini series on Netflix). A strong woman defying all odds to become a chess prodigy. The title "Let's Play" is taken directly from the last shot of the series, which appears as text on screen at the end. The small 'play' arrow has been added in the top left and nods to the fact it is on TV. The artist encourages us to 'play' the game.


Other works by Sal Jones:

If You Get In My Way oil painting by Sal Jones  I'm Serious oil painting by Sal Jones I Was Respected oil painting by Sal Jones  Big Girls Big Rocks oil painting by Sal Jones

About the artist


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  • £3,200.00

Sal JonesArtist: Sal Jones

Sal’s painting focuses on our relationship with representation, particularly with regards to human expression and communication. Her emotionally charged paintings, portraying primarily fictional subjects, are an attempt to capture the action of expression out of context whilst transforming the stereotypical portrait. Using subjects that she has sourced from cinema, the media and her own photography she creates works that explore human reaction and empathy on a personal level. Her work investigates our love of the dramatic, focusing on scenes of questioning, love, betrayal, and power-play. Along with titles originating from dialogue, they invite the viewer to share and empathise with this inner world of familiar strangers.

"Recent work can be best described as a reinterpretation of the portraiture tradition with an emphasis on emotional conflict and expression. I use captured moments rather than the traditional poses associated with portraiture so working with photography becomes a part of the process. The photographic sources are just there as starting points for the paintings, I don’t stick to them religiously. I use the paint to draw directly on the canvas then build up layers from washes to more gestural mark making, often combining brushwork with palette knife. It is an intuitive approach, I invent colour palettes and marks that are emotive to the subject."

Sal has a BA Hons in Fine Art and a PGCE in Art & Design, and is currently a freelance Artist, Museum Educator and exam board Assessment Associate. She has over 20 years of experience working in the education sector teaching and undertaking art residencies. ​Since leaving her permanent teaching role at the end of 2012, Sal has concentrated on painting and has exhibited widely in London and the UK, in selected and solo shows

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