“When I look for the next piece of rock to carve I start with the shape, the odder the shape the better. Liking the shape of this stone I decided to work with it. On the second day I decided to draw the shape of the stone from both sides and see what I could come up with. Sitting in the studio listening to Miles Davis, Otis Rush & Friends, Lou Reed and Brick House the entire time and a bit of sketching and erasing, I finally came up with this, the bewildered spirit.
“The main idea on this piece was to have all characters emerging from each otherwith the owl as the guide to the spirit world. Even the owl is bewildered, his eyes tell it all. From a distance they look the same, but up close they are different. I wanted the effect of being perplexed in his eyes. As for the spirit in the chest of the owl, his gaze is straight ahead and up slightly, as if in a state of saying “where do I go from here?” The muskox has the look of anger on his face, but if you look at him from the side and only see one eye at a time, they are both different. Viewing it so as to see just his left eye, we see he is calmer a little more subdued, but if we look at just his right eye, he looks impatient and angry. This I feel is what we are all about… sometimes we look calm and steady, but underneath we can be very angry or impatient. So because of these many thoughts and images going on inside my head, I decided to give this one the title, the bewildered spirit.”
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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