Michael Flaherty

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Rangifer Sapiens

1807-1884
White earthenware with terra sigillata, cobalt sulfate, cobalt underglaze and clear glaze


During the summer of 2009 I lived alone for three months on the isolated Grey Islands off the north coast of Newfoundland. The largest island is the location of an abandoned community, Grey Islands Harbour, a once bustling place now empty because of the 1960s government policy of resettlement. Few remnants of the human community remain - a cemetary, a handful of ruined houses, pottery shards on the beach, and very little else. But it would be inaccurate to say the island is uninhabited: shortly after the people left in 1961 a herd of caribou was transplanted there. For more than half a century they have successfully persisted where humans could no longer - they have inherited the island in an ecological, physical and spiritual sense. The caribou leave their own record on the land - they carve trails through the brush with their footsteps and shed their antlers every fall. It is through these artefacts - antlers, shards, gravestones - that I draw a connection between past and present, human and animal, presence and absence.

1864-1907
White earthenware with terra sigillata, cobalt sulfate, cobalt underglaze and clear glaze


Bison Sapiens
White earthenware, underglaze, and glaze


1914-1922, 1916-1922 and 1919-1922
White earthenware with terra sigillata, cobalt sulfate, clear glaze and decals


White earthenware with underglaze, terra sigillata, cobalt sulfate and glaze


White earthenware with underglaze, terra sigillata, cobalt sulfate and glaze


1812-1878
White earthenware with terra sigillata, cobalt sulfate, cadmium underglaze and clear glaze


1887-1954
White earthenware with terra sigillata, cobalt sulfate, cobalt underglaze and clear glaze


Whereas
White earthenware with terra sigillata, cobalt sulfate, decals and clear glaze


1835-1919
White earthenware with terra sigillata, cobalt sulfate, cobalt underglaze and clear glaze


1876-1952
White earthenware with terra sigillata, cobalt sulfate, cobalt underglaze and clear glaze


112
White earthenware with terra sigillata, cobalt sulfate, decals and clear glaze


1879-1905
White earthenware with terra sigillata, cobalt sulfate, underglaze and clear glaze


1901-1953
White earthenware with terra sigillata, cobalt sulfate, underglaze, lustre and clear glaze