Spirit Wrestler Gallery (Vancouver, Canada)

“becoming the shadows of his maker”


As I started looking at this stone in its raw form, I kept in mind: ‘utilize the stone’. I always try to make the entire stone, as is, work for me, at times this requires drawing out possible directions first. That was the case with this rock as I was able to work out ideas on paper first. Once satisfied with the drawing, I can then transfer the image to the stone.

Because the front and back should blend thematically, I had worked with images that are transforming into - or out of - the man.

The man is remembering times when he was much younger - and the times when the night took up most of the day. He would sit with his mother and father in their shelter as they worked on sewing and fixing tools. He, as a boy, would pass the time with making pretend-animals - shaping his hands so that creatures would appear on the wall in the shadows from the light of the candle. He would play like this for hours, being a great way to pass the long nights/days.

The boy, now a man, has grown great powers - and with them, he has once again started to make hand-shadows from the light of his candle. As the hours pass, the shadows seem to come alive for him, and as they do, he begins to transform into the animals that he makes. That’s when he realized that he is ‘becoming the shadows of his maker’.

—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.