The figures within my work are women living in comfortable environments that allows them to reveal their authentic self. One of being feminine and in touch which their sexuality in a real way. It is not the perfect form constructed by men that has been exoticized or rendered primitive, but the reality of the black woman that we see every day when looking in the mirror.
Often in my work, the Black women are partially or fully nude, however my portrayal of them is in direct opposition to the generalized view of the oversexualized Black body. It is a Black woman taking ownership of her body and refusing to let it be controlled by the white gaze. A lot of times these women are mirrors of myself and reflect my life and experiences. As I become more comfortable with myself, my pieces are becoming more personal and thus more relatable.
CAM Emerging Artist Wall
Aliyah Bonnette is a multidisciplinary artist working out of Raleigh, North Carolina. Working using a variety of materials, she creates painted quilts as her medium. Using bold and often abstract shapes in her background, she juxtaposes her realistic figures as a way to play with the natural comfortability of the quilts and the often-unspoken discomfort of the topics within her work.
Her work focuses mainly on the black femme experience in America and pulls inspiration from various topics in the African American Diaspora or her own life experience as she navigates the world as a Black Woman in America. Though a self-taught quilter, her bachelor’s degree in both painting and textiles have allowed her the space and knowledge to explore her medium more in depth.
She Realized You Weren’t the Sun
Quilt with Oil, beading, and applique
Approx 57×45 inches