Spirit Wrestler Gallery (Vancouver, Canada)

“they dressed for the occasion”


When I had finished the last piece, “spring”, I knew that I really had to work with this metal inlay idea again. When I was looking over this piece of stone, I was looking for a form that would be a natural to have the inlaid metal once again. What came out of this looking were the two faces, one on each side of the stone. When I began grinding, the feather shapes just wanted to come out, so I went with what I felt was right and from that I was able to have the inlaid metal — only this time I could use the feathers as the design.

Once I had the eyes and feather pattern added, I had to then figure out what would make up the hands. After some consideration, I came up with this: that if the faces are both of one piece of stone, then I thought that the hands could perhaps work the same way. So, finding the best-shaped antler, I cut it to length and then began adding the fingernails. Because the two figures had feathers added (one as a parka and the other as a head-dress), I felt that a bow and arrow would work, thus giving the piece a completed appearance as an overall form.

The way I had thought that the two images would work together was if I imagined them both out hunting the same thing — birds — ptarmigan to be exact. I thought of how some Inuit in Greenland used to make parkas of feathers…and how the feather head-dress is more associated with the first-nations groups in the south. And this is maybe how they met while out hunting — and they talked of how they came to be where they ended up.

—Michael Massie

Documented and loaned to Changing Hands: Art Without Reservation 3 Exhibition, May 26 — October 21, 2012, at the Museum of Arts and Design, New York, USA

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.