Vancouver – born Shannon Belkin graduated from the Emily Carr College (now Institute) of Art and Design in 1992.
Belkin was first known for her bold, yet sensitive portraits which captured the inner life of her subject. These portraits, particularly of children, friends and corporate and government luminaries, hang in corporate, private and institutional collections across the United States and Canada.
In her first solo exhibition, “Nature’s Prozac” (2001), she portrayed sensuous, highly detailed flowers and berries in large-scale format. These paintings, which symbolized the intricate interaction between human and nature, were described by Douglas Coupland in his essay.
In “Fleur Illumine” (2002), Belkin presented singular, brilliantly exotic flowers, again huge and colourful.
In 2003, Belkin began to bring another passion to the extreme foreground of her larger-than-life oil paintings: the vivid cacophony of the domestic barnyard. Taking a macro view of forelocks, beaks and feathers in her images of horses, roosters, cattle and llamas. Her portraiture background enables her to capture their personalities and spirit with memorable élan.
The 2004 exhibit featured a stunning series of large-scale portraits of horses. “When Horses Were Gods” was inspired by equine mythologies around the globe — from the Arabian, Etruscan and Babylonian to Finnish and Chinese.