It turned out to be a nice surprise when I was tidying up one of my work benches and found a piece of caribou antler that was given to me by a good friend of the family, Jim Andrews. This piece of antler was originally somewhat larger, but what I saw that evening while cleaning up was hair blowing in the wind — and I just couldn’t get that image out of my head. So once I had completed the piece that I had been working on, I began laying out stone that could fill in for the face for this one. I felt that I had to try and make the hair stand on its own — to allow for a more realistic look of hair blowing in the wind.
While I was working on this piece I was thinking of a story to go with it — and once the face was detailed, I thought of Spring and the great happiness it brings to most everyone for the warmer and longer days ahead (it’s winter here…and we think about stuff like this!)
I wanted her to look like she is content and that she is putting the hardships they endured throughout the winter behind her, and is now looking forward to the time of the year when the earth comes back to life. Having her hood still partially up indicates that there are still to be a few cool days — but not the real cold that the winter had given them. The facial tattooing was added to show that she had also gone through another painful feat towards becoming a strong and respected woman. The long winter nights had allowed her to have the tattooing completed, and if all goes well this year, she may end up getting more tattooing done to add to the design, now that she knows what is involved.
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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