Joseph Wolf, 1869
The taxonomical tree of the Spectacled Cormorant as described by Pallas, and his desk quill.
Ghosts of Gone Birds
An ambitious conservation project created by Ceri Levi and Chris Aldous, in partnership with Birdlife International, 'reanimating' species from the extinct birds list.
Each artist involved investigated and created work based on a particular species. My choice was the clumsy, tasty, flightless Spectacled Cormorant that inhabited the remote islands of the Bering Strait.
The research around this species took me on an intriguing journey of exploration, heroism and shipwreck. The resultant piece was an adapted table entitled: "The Unfortunate Repercussions of Discovery and Survival", telling the story of the cormorant's demise through three key characters: biologist Georg Steller, mariner Vitus Bering and zoologist Peter Simon Pallas.
For the full story of the table's conception and making read the PDF from Jackdaw magazine here.
The table featured as the basis for a chapter of "The Devil's Cormorant" a marvellous book by Richard J. King from Williams Mystic College in Connecticut.