Matthew Flaherty was born in 1998 in Iqaluit. He grew up in Grise Ford (or Aujuittuq, which can be translated as “the place that never thaws”) Situated on the south of Ellesmere Island, it happens to be the northernmost public community in Canada. In the 2021 Canadian census, its population was found to be of 144 inhabitants. It is also one of the coldest regions of the world.
Matthew carved his first sculpture at the age of seven. It was of a polar bear. He was inspired by notable artists of his community, but does not come from a family of artists. As such, he is largely self-taught.
The artist moved to Cape Dorset in 2019 to develop his skills. There, he met and trained with the renowned Parr Parr