Last summer, as I visited the quarry where I get this stone, I noticed this piece of stone resting up against a larger rock, and it caught my attention because of it’s shape. Back in the studio I played with it and balanced it the way I felt that it should stand. I immediately saw the head and wing forms — so, of course, I had to have those! I was thinking of shamans and transformations as I was looking the stone over, so the first thing that emerged was the wing on the one side and the arm on the other. With the larger hand I was looking to convey that moment just before you release something very delicate — like a butterfly. The owl coming out of the mouth is a representation of the act of releasing the spirit, here the owl is almost completely out, which complements the position of the larger hand … both are just about to be released. The eyes are treated differently to represent both the spirit world and the transformation.
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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