Shannon Bono is a multimedia-driven artist, cultural writer, and MA Art & Science graduate from Central Saint Martins University 2019. Shannon also has a Biochemistry degree and is currently completing a Pg Cert in Academic practice art, design, and communication.
Shannon is invested in producing symbolic layered figurative compositions that centralize black womanhood as the source of knowledge and understanding. She uses the term Afrofemcentrism to describe her work, 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. She uses the body to act as a second canvas with oil and acrylic paints as her medium. Her mission to advocate for the presence of black bodies is captured by the element of scale, color, and anatomical manipulation inspired by the function of religious iconography and classical art. She re-imagines these bodies as a map of modernity employing surrealist cues to work as ‘artivism’ (art+activism) against oppressive forces, share muted narratives, and celebrate black culture. As a woman and an artist critically looking at images of black womxn in art and media, Shannon has developed an oppositional gaze (a term coined by bell hooks) which means it is important for her to transform images of blackness. She believes the body is a powerful signifier that can provoke dialogue, so her work plays with poses, gestures, and the gaze to change reality. Her work over the past 2 years directly reflects the black female body as a source of tutelage and analysis for deeper thought and healing. Reclaiming the body and resisting negative colonial visual history in the genre of nudity is a common theme found in her work, she believes the body to be a very integral key of strength, symbolism, and vulnerability. As a black woman, Shannon also expresses personal embodied experiences tackling identity and sexuality politics. Bono takes influence from her own African culture and includes African textile design as well as biochemistry to perform as the foundation of her pieces, re-appropriating the symbolic nature of African fabrics fused with the metaphorical functions of biological and chemical structures found in the body adds another layer to her work. Her goal is to educate, inspire and liberate her audience, as an interdisciplinary artivist.