18 years old, Shephard arrived in Harare and met his cousin, famous stone sculptor Moses Masaya. From him he learned the craft of carving sculptures of the Zimbabwean stones. Not as an assistant, which is the way of today, but by looking at his mentor working. When the time was ripe Moses told him to start his own studio in order to develop his own unique style, avoiding the trap of copying his master.
And so he did.
Encouraged among others by the then director of The National Gallery of Harare, Roy Cook, who provided opportunities for his sculptures to be exhibited in Harare as well as abroad, Shephard developed the cubistic style he is still developing – heads with sharp edges and facial features, almost a cool style, but nevertheless live sculptures. As with other master sculptors, Shephard’s stones are alive and speaking to the person looking at them and trying to connect.
Shephard is also a master in the sense that he sometimes choose to create a more naturalistic sculpture, such as a more than life-size modern couple with smart clothes according to the newest fashion.
The Zimbabwean humour is often present in Shephard’s works, as well as in the daily working life in Ruwa, together with his colleagues.
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