As with most pieces I make, I try and use as much of the stone as possible, partly because of time and cost — but mostly because it makes me look at the stone as a whole.
With this piece, I immediately saw that it was to be an owl… and I saw a wing of the owl lifted up and cocked forward, as if it has been broken. I have him looking towards the ground as if contemplating his thoughts. In my work, I use the owl as the creature that which takes you to the spirit world. So when it came to the title, I decided to have it as: broken spirit.
You, the viewer, can take this as you will. I look at it in a number of ways: as if something has brought the spirit down, such as a death or loss — or perhaps things aren’t going right at all… and no matter what you try, there are times when things just don’t go as well as you had expected. But as much as I say this — how I was looking at it overall was for the fact that he has a broken wing… and it was a good play on words.
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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