A story from my past. When I was twelve or thirteen, my father and my mother’s father took myself, my brother Russ, and Carl, my cousin, off camping to Mulligan, Labrador for a week. One day my Dad and Grandfather left camp to go get more supplies. The three of us did the chores that we had been assigned to do—and then started playing cards to pass the time.
Going outside for a minute, I noticed a small bird (a “Tom Tit”, not much bigger than your thumb) which landed not far from where I was standing. I quickly went into the cabin and grabbed the pellet-gun and went back outside. Now Grandfather had always told us not to kill any animals that we didn’t eat, especially a little Tom Tit—but I aimed and pulled the trigger—and watched as the bird turned tits up—dead. Stunned and riddled with guilt and fear over what I had just done, I picked up the little bird and brought it into the cabin to show the boys… and was roundly told off for it.
Grabbing a little spoon, I ran out to bury the little bird. I never could tell Grandfather or Dad what I had done and I have always regretted doing that… and this is my confession in stone, some thirty years later.
In the design, having the one leg standing and the other kneeling is me standing to accept responsibility for what I had done—while also kneeling to say a prayer or confessing to it all. The gloved hand represents the fact that I have hidden something, while the ungloved one says that I am baring all or confessing. The X’s for eyes is a whimsical way of saying something is dead.
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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