Learning—like the bulk of Chris Shepherd output—was born out of walking. In an era which finds the governments and citizenry preoccupied with antiquated forms of transportation and privilege goes unchecked, walking becomes both a means to and end and a meditation. Learning began a series of voyeuristic adventures through windows of abandoned schools discovered on slow forays into the urban environment and escalated to an exercise shaped by legal access, permissions and bureaucracy.
This work focuses on select schools in Burlington, Etobicoke and the greater Toronto area. Institutional public buildings where the occupants have either left for the day, taken off for the summer or abandoned the buildings permanently. These images explore the artist’s aesthetic fascination with institutional architecture, function over form, and history while simultaneously contemplating a personal public school educational, contemporary art theory, and an interest in the notion of and the nature of solitude.
Learning was exhibited at Bau-Xi Photo Gallery in Toronto in 2012. The artist is planning to revisit this subject matter in the future if possible.