Spirit Wrestler Gallery (Vancouver, Canada)

“a sign of the times”


With the current hot topic of “Going Green”, I thought I would make a piece that dealt with one of the many concerns being talked about: plastic bags. These have been in the news for quite some time and I happened upon a television program about turtles washing up dead on beaches — after autopsy, it showed that the cause of death was from their eating and swallowing plastic bags. Puzzled at this, I checked on the internet and found that there have been many other mammals — whales, seals, and sharks — found with plastic in their intestines and stomach. I began to think that I could perhaps deal with this topic in one of my pieces.

The particular shape of this stone allowed me give an expression of disbelief or shock to the man’s face. I have his hands up alongside of his head and his mouth and eyes wide open. The man has caught a seal and has begun to clean and skin it — only to find plastic coming out of its stomach. Stepping back in disbelief, he is shocked to see plastic inside of the seal.

My point here is that over the many years that plastic bags have been on the go, we as a society have taken a more convenient and easy way out — and have really turned our backs on the end result. We have supported the companies that produce this product in their view that it is a product that we cannot do without — and we all have had very little regard to what their product is doing to our mother earth and the mess that we are leaving behind for our kids and theirs. And now, after all the years that we have been using plastic, we are finally seeing the devastation that it is causing on land and sea — and steps are being taken to stop the production of plastic bags.

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.