Spirit Wrestler Gallery (Vancouver, Canada)

“spirit wrestler”


Shamanism is very powerful and full of mystery. Stories that talk about this are what fascinate me the most. There are two figures in the stone; the larger one seems as if he is emerging from the smaller. The smaller one sits with his feet wrapped around the larger one’s backside, as if to hold onto him. It is not a strong hold, just a gentle one — as if there is reluctance in holding on too long. They are both reaching for the same thing: control of the situation. The right hand of the larger figure has transformed into a walrus flipper/bear paw with claws, the claws do not cut or dig into the face of the smaller figure but rather the paw is being used to push the small one away. The small one tries to lift the arm to stop his pushing. The larger figure holds his left hand as if he is ready to cradle the head of the other, while the smaller one is trying to push on the shoulder of the large one — his pinky finger has a claw rather than a nail, showing his willingness to become a part of the spirit world. I had to have them looking at each other, giving the impression that neither one was willing to quit first. At the same time, I wanted the impression that the two figures are in a much more dramatic situation than it really is!

Michael Massie

Michael Massie

Michael Massie


Inuit, Métis

Happy Valley - Goose Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

(1962- )

Massie’s work is a reflection of his mixed Inuit, Métis and Scottish heritage. In it, he investigates both traditional and contemporary themes. He has achieved renown for his innovative teapots that combine themes and symbols from his native Inuit culture with European traditions. Massie has been twice short-listed for the coveted Prix Saidye Bronfman and has an extensive international reputation. His work has been shown in North America and Europe, including the National Gallery of Canada. He was elected a member of Royal Canadian Academy of Arts in 2011.