Shannon Bono (b.1995) is a visual artist, MA Art & Science graduate from Central Saint Martin’s University, 2019. She lives and works in London.
Shannon identifies as an Afrofemcentrist, a term that describes a consciousness that asserts race, sex and art as a way of living, where black women are the subject depicted by a black woman. As a painter, Shannon is invested in producing layered figurative compositions embedded with symbolism that centralises black womanhood as a source of knowledge and understanding. She is enamoured by African spiritually and takes inspiration from Christian iconography and the renaissance art employing its purposes of cultural impact, liturgy and instruction for an improved society. Exploring the internal parts of the body, she goes back to her scientific educational background and merges the design of notable fabrics from west and central Africa with biological structures and chemical processes in living organisms. She uses the body to act as a second canvas, including surrealist cues to work as ‘artivisms’ (art+activism) against oppressive forces, share muted narratives and celebrate black female culture. She views the body as a powerful signifier that provokes dialogue, playing with pose, gesture and the gaze to change reality.
Recent exhibitions include Stall, Sarabande: The Lee Alexander McQueen Foundation, London (2020); Art Still Flourishes, Visual Space Digital exhibition (2020); Live Flesh, Sarabande: The Lee Alexander McQueen Foundation, London (2020); SOUND::GENDER::FEMINISM:ACTIVISM (SGFA), Tokyo University of the Arts, Tokyo (2019); Art and activism, Tate Exchange, Tate Modern, London (2019) and The State of Things, Copeland Gallery, London (2019). Collections include the Ilesha Trust Collection, UK; UAL Collection, University of the Arts London, UK and Feminist Library Sojourner Truth Space, London, UK. Bono recently completed a residency at Sarabande: The Lee Alexander McQueen Foundation.