Spirit Wrestler Gallery (Vancouver, Canada)

“recalling his journey”


The lone character on the one side is the shaman telling his story. The other side of the sculpture is of him having a conversation with Sedna. The stone side of the face being him and the brass side being Sedna.

The shaman recalls the transformation for the journey — he takes on the appearance of the walrus, whose form he chooses because a walrus can hold its breath much longer than a seal. The shaman holds onto the diving walrus which allows him to reach the bottom of the sea. His right hand takes the form of both the seal and the caribou, both of which need air to breathe — and the caribou’s power is to help him get back to reality. This is also why the shaman is displaying antlers.

Looking at the single form of the shaman: his left hand is that of the seal/caribou, while his left hand is a flipper, one eye is much larger, because he is in transformation. The two-faced side, with both the shaman and Sedna — her body is shown as half-walrus, half-shaman. The walrus is laying on his back and if you visually remove the two faces and the left arm, the overall form is that of the walrus lying down.

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.