A woman crouches among snail shells, displayed on sticks. In the background, trees and a woven fence.
Vanessa Jones, Self-Portrait with Snail Shells, 2020. © Vanessa Jones.Credit

Vanessa Jones

Self Portrait with Snail Shells, 2020

Oil on canvas, 50 x 40 cm 

The artist’s self-portrait embodies ideas around protection, isolation and nature.  Jones painted it with a medieval sensibility in mind: enclosed within nature and monastic, yet wild at the same time. She wanted to give voice to ideas surrounding the Dark Ages and play on the parallels with our current notions around plague, nature and death. The snails are an art historical reference to laziness and lowliness. They also have an association with garden pests and, more generally, the enthusiasm for gardening that bloomed during the Covid-10 lockdown in Ireland. 


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