When I found this piece of stone I thought it was anhydrite, with those attractive bands of blue and white. It wasn’t until I started working on it that I realized that it wasn’t that kind of stone at all — but a much harder one. Realizing this, I did check to see if it could be filed (or rasped is the proper term), and finding that it was possible, I kept on working. Gradually it became an owl that appears to have fallen down.
I wasn’t really sure about how to title the piece until I found myself thinking of the times when I spent my summers with my grandparents. Grandfather Baikie was a stern man — but it was all meant in the best way to learn. From past experience, I was always a bit nervous when it came time to check the nets, or to haul the boat up on the beach for the winter — or any other work-related task. Grandfather had worked hard all his life and he had to learn to do many things on his own… and I can see it now that he just wanted us to learn and pay attention. When I was helping, I often became so self-conscious that I became clumsy. And those were the times that you could just hear (even now!) grandfather say, “First day with your new feet?!”
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.
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