Underground

Chris Shepherd


Toronto-based artist Chris Shepherd explores the subterranean networks of Toronto and Montreal in Underground. Submerged from view, the subway systems of each metropolis weave, burrow, anchor, and nourish the urban life above-ground. Rather than capturing the frenetic activity of each system, Shepherd focuses on the fleeting moments between the perpetual cycle of arrivals and departures: the ignored hallways, staircases, platforms, mezzanines, tunnels, and inanimate skeleton of the transit lines. Each image depicts quiet everyday details that resonate with silent beauty, transforming utilitarian spaces into painterly tableaux of contemplation. Shepherd describes his compositions as ‘”temporal blips in the consistent hustle and bustle of everyday life.” As part of an ongoing study, the work is inherently bound to the archives of each city Shepherd explores, serving to document and re-document the chronological life-span of these spaces as they continually adapt to the changing needs of the urban-dweller.