When beginning a new piece, at times it is the most difficult thing to come up with an idea just from the shape of the stone. Since the first time I started sculpting stone, it was the idea of - using as much of the stone as possible without too much wastage. This has always been my mind-set for the most part… let the stone speak!
The very first thing I saw was a figure sitting on a stool - so into the grinding room I went. I began working just that side and stopped before too much stone had been removed from the other side. Because I see each piece I make as an individual story in itself, I like to depict the story as much as possible in the finished stone.
The starting point for this piece was the figure sitting on the stool. I wanted the head to be tilted in an awkward position so as to represent him thinking, but it’s not always easy to think of another new story! There are times where he feels like pulling out his hair, as it can take so long to come up with a new idea.
On the other side, I was looking to depict the ‘eye’ in thinking - or the word I prefer: contemplate! ‘Eye’ contemplate from my inner self. “‘eye’ contemplate” many different ideas - and ‘eye’ speak of the ideas I have to ‘see’ how they go over.
With all of that ‘contemplating”, this is the piece that evolved!—Michael Massie
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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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