Having decided to add the facial disk/mask to the owl’s face, I knew this piece would be about transformation. His right foot was to appear somewhat like that of an owls, but I wanted it to be also a flipper of a walrus, part way between a transformation. He stands on one leg and has his wings brought together on his chest as if to take a magic trick from under his feathers. I was looking to have him appear as if he is a magician and in the act of performing magic. I decided to have the facial disk added — by attaching it to his face in the same fashion as a cheap Halloween mask. By making the mask echo the shape of the facial disk, I was promoting the idea that he is in the process of performing his magic — or showing his shamanistic abilities — and here he has been able to detach the facial disk/mask and has still kept his likeness.
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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