Spirit Wrestler Gallery (Vancouver, Canada)

“getta grip”


An Owl with a bit of the “ha-ha, thanks a lot” look.. The idea for this piece came as I was working on the piece in different stages. The look of the owl was that of a thank-you look that was told too late. Like when someone bumps into a wall or post by accident and someone else says, “look out for the wall!” Some sarcasm from the other person, hence the look.

As it came time to make a base, I had a couple pieces of wood that would work and when the test base was cut out, I noticed that it looked like something familiar. At first I didn’t see it until I held the owl in place… and that’s when it came to me.. it resembled a tape dispenser or holder. That’s when the title fell into place.

From there, as I was working on the feet, I made the talons that are closest to the base not grip the edges. So, here you have the Owl standing on top of a slope that is slippery and he knows that he doesn’t have a good grip - and he could just hear someone say - “getta grip!”

—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.