Spirit Wrestler Gallery (Vancouver, Canada)

“you can’t get blood from a stone!”


Stepping out of his tent, the man took in the brisk morning air. It was early summer and it was time to fill his belly with a good feed of fish. He noted that it would likely be a great day for fishing, so he gathered up his pack with the fishing gear, and off he went.

When he left camp the air was cool and there was a breeze, causing him to put up his hood to keep the cool breeze off his neck. As the sun rose more, it began to warm up and the breeze subsided - and in its wake it left the air motionless. The man knew as the day went on and the sun warmed the rocks, that the day would likely have its downfalls.

Being early summer and there being no more snow to be seen, there are other things out there besides polar bears that like to feed on humans, and most especially that was the pesky mosquito. This annoying bug was always a pain to those out on the land, but this was no ordinary man - this was a very powerful Shaman, one known for his great powers of transformation. Not many have seen his abilities, but the ones that have, have told the stories.

One other thing this Shaman had going for him was the fact that he had not long before returned from a trip to the South. On that trip, he came across a most fascinating creature - the dragonfly - The shaman was most impressed at this great bug - being that it only ate mosquitoes and not humans.

Taking this knowledge - and having his abilities to transform, the shaman removed his pack with the fishing gear and placed it at his feet, ignoring the hundreds and hundreds of mosquitoes which flew about while others began their feast on him. He tilted his head back, closed his eyes and began to chant. Suddenly, as if from nowhere, hundreds and hundreds of dragonflies appeared and they began their feast on those pesky mosquitoes.

Just as quick as the dragonflies appeared, the Shaman disappeared and in his place stood an Inuksuk - the stone figure of man. The wise old Shaman with his great abilities knew that “you can’t get blood from a stone!”

—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.