Over the years I have always said that I try to use as much of the stone as possible when thinking of a design. Often that creature is in there already!
With this in mind (and while I have to admit that I did see an Owl in this piece in the very beginning), I am trying to explore a bit and break from that way of looking… so with this piece I began thinking of the muskox, another one of the big, beautiful creatures of the North. From an artist’s point of view, the size and shape — the horns — the overall look it has — are all quite interesting to work with.
When there are a number of muskoxen in a group, they sometimes stay so close together that it is hard to tell which body belongs to which head! I took that thought and had the muskox looking straight at you — but it also looks as if he is standing sideways with his head turned to the side. Viewed from the back he is made to appear as if he were looking straight ahead. I left the horns large add to the abstracted form. Because they all look the same this one wanted to stand out from the crowd, so he had the nose ring added to make him different from the others and stand out!
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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