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Pearson Ripley: Shut Away

Student Gallery, Ryerson Image Centre 
June 19–August 4

Shut Away is a window into a less-discussed immigration story in the United States. There are currently around fifty undocumented immigrants living in churches across the nation after receiving deportation orders. Nationalism is rising within the government, the country, and the world at large. It remains, though, the strategy of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to avoid raiding “sensitive locations.” Taking refuge in these churches provides some insulation from the possibility of deportation, but the spaces end up being a prison of a different sort.

Using the still photograph, moving image, and spoken word, this project explores a complex situation at the intersection of immigration, religion, and politics. Of any state in the nation, North Carolina has the most individuals living in sanctuary. Shut Away aims to highlight the people in that southern state who are engaged in these acts of resistance.

- Pearson Ripley



Opening Party and Artist Talk
Wednesday, June 19
6:00 - 8:00 pm

Exhibition Tours
Daily 2:30 pm

All events take place at the Ryerson Image Centre, unless otherwise noted

A man stands on the steps of a porch, but his face is obscured by laundry hanging on a line.
Fig. 1

Pearson Ripley, Veiled, 2018, inkjet print. Courtesy of the artist

Portrait of a man standing in a darkened meeting space
Fig. 2

Pearson Ripley, Samuel, 2018, inkjet print. Courtesy of the artist

Artist Bio

Pearson Ripley

Pearson Ripley is a documentary storyteller working in both still photography and video. Born in San Francisco and raised in North Carolina, Pearson spent much of his life around cameras before finding his way to documentary photography. Social and political concerns direct the focus of his work. He aims to create honest imagery that nonetheless demonstrates an awareness of photography’s subjective nature. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Technical Photography from Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina; and is currently completing his MFA in Documentary Media at Ryerson University. In 2018, Pearson received Nikon’s inaugural Storyteller’s Scholarship.

Ongoing Exhibitions

Fehn Foss, Build Up Break Down, video still, 2018. Courtesy of the artist
Fig. 4

Fehn Foss, Build Up Break Down, video still, 2018. Courtesy of the artist