From the very beginning, with this stone, I could just see it was going to be an owl, but it took three days of drawing on the stone to see the design. I had thought that he would stand on one leg but the shape of the stone wouldn’t allow for this. On the third night, I went through my art history books and came across this Barn Owl by John James Audubon (Birds of America 1833). Once I saw this image, I knew this would be the basis for the design.
At first, I had wanted to carve the feet from the stone, but making them this way gave the Owl added character. Mr. Audubon’s use of the two owls to describe the inside and the outside of the wings helped to finalize my thoughts—I could try to capture the movement of the bird, as if it were just about to grab something that it had focused its attention on.
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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