b. England, 1995
Shannon Bono’s (b. 1995, London) paintings embody an afrofemcentrist consciousness, sharing muted narratives and projecting the Black women’s lived experiences. She is invested in producing layered, figurative, compositions embedded with symbols and scientific metaphors that centralise Black womanhood as a source of knowledge and understanding. Enamoured by African spiritually, Christian iconography and renaissance art she employs its purpose of cultural impact, liturgy and instruction for an improved society within her works. Shannon explores the internal body as well as the external, by merging the design of notable fabrics from Africa with biological structures and chemical processes in living organisms for the backgrounds of her works and using the anatomy as a second canvas in the foreground. She views the body as a powerful signifier that provokes dialogue, playing with pose, gesture and the gaze to challenge reality.
In 2021, Bono presented her first solo exhibition titled “The hands that hold you,” at the Anderson Contemporary, London and she has been selected for Bloomberg New Contemporaries award 2021 showing at Firstsite and The South London Gallery. Recent exhibitions include "Windrush: Portraits of a Pioneering Generation" at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh (2023) and at the National Portrait Gallery (October 2023), "Tangle Teaser", Sarabande: The Lee Alexander McQueen Foundation x WAAW London (2023), "The World Reimagined: Still We Rise", Women of Westminster, National Maritime Museum (2023) "Summer Fest", Wentrup Gallery, Hamburg (2022), ”Love is the Devil: Studies after Francis Bacon” presented at Marlborough Gallery (2022), “Bold Black British,” presented at Christie’s (2021), “Reclaiming Magic” Royal Academy Summer exhibition and 'WOP' Avant Arte x WOAW Gallery Hong Kong (2021-2022). Other notable exhibitions she has participated in include Workplace Gallery, the Copeland Gallery, and more. Shannon has been featured in Dazed Magazine and online press by Elephant magazine, Wallpaper magazine, Bustle, i-D and Soho house.