When I first began to work on this piece, I had it in mind to have either a spirit (or perhaps a woman) attached or coming from the bent wing/arm of the man/spirit. After much thought, that was what it became … just a thought. But from there, I began thinking of the possibility of having a mask attached to the man/spirit’s face, as I was still keen on the idea of something coming out of that bent arm — and the idea of having the man/spirit holding onto a mask that could be up to the face or away from the face pleased me, as it gave a different appearance to both.
Once I had all of that in my head, I began thinking of the meaning behind it all and fear — or the masking of fear — seemed to be fitting. Everyone has fears, be it fear of heights, or fear of death, or maybe that someone or something unexpected will come out from behind a tree and ..! I’ll leave it at that. But the main idea is fear, sometimes we mask our fears and try not to let others know of them. And then there are other times that we mask our fears with humor. No matter how you look at it we all have something, big or small, real or imaginative, something that lives as fear inside us. How we deal with it is how we look at ourselves — this is why I made the mask look like the side profile of one’s own face.
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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