Fable- Shannon Dunn


Fable A new series of paintings by, Shannon Dunn


In the “Fable” series of paintings, I aim to highlight adversity as the catalyst for the evolution of self.  Each painting tells a story of how something seemingly negative can result in an eventual positive outcome.  Objects, animals and elements from nature become metaphors for the human experience. For example, a diamond can only be created when carbon comes under immense pressure over the course of a lifetime.  A pearl can only grow when a grain of sand irritates the tender belly of an oyster. 

In some of the paintings in this series, characters borrowed from traditional folklore are re-imagined to become heroines in their otherwise damsel in distress dramas. Rapunzel rescues herself, cuts her own hair and boldly wears it as a necklace.  Aurora refuses her sleepy destiny with the help of some key players found in unexpected places.

Some paintings were born out of my own experience and are visual representations of hopes for myself or family. My daughter took on the role of Little Red Riding Hood in one of the paintings. She proudly wears the wolf as a headdress over her red hood. The very thing that came to destroy her will, once defeated, become a mark of victory. I hope this girl grows to slay her wolves. Our struggles can become the triumphs that define us.

These paintings have been the most cathartic paintings I’ve ever created. The subject matter and method of visual storytelling vary in each painting. However, the series is sewn together with the common thread of hardship eventually providing the opportunity of liberation for the subject.  The win doesn’t come without loss but each character has prevailed amidst struggle to tell a new kind of fable.

Artist Talk with Shannon Dunn