While looking for some spare parts for my grinder I came across this piece of serpentine — it is always nice to get a little surprise! I have been wanting to make more figurative works, particularly in the serpentine, to try and understand the proportions better. Examining the stone, I went through many ideas, including sketches, to try and figure out what to use for the two heads. The finished piece was my very last idea and was kind of spur-of-the-moment.
When I began to see where the woman’s head was going to be placed, I then knew that a child’s head had to go on the other side. Then, as I was carving the woman, I noticed she was looking more like a grandmother than a mother, through the older facial features. Because of that, I began to think of my own grandmother — and how she loved her grandchildren. So this is an Ode to my Grandmother, Mae Baikie.
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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