For those of you who don’t know my work, I enjoy working with themes that illustrate shamans. It is something about the act of transformation that captures my imagination. Over the years of travelling in the North, I have had the opportunity to hear some of the stories on shamanism first hand.
This piece is about a shaman — a shaman who is both good and understanding. He is one that directs the hunt and the one that calls upon the spirits to help when needed. This shaman was much liked by the children in the community, being well- known for sharing the many stories of hunting, and knowing the traits of all the different animals…and, of course, the spirits. He would tell the children how the people of the community would at times will call upon him for his help in finding the animals, or where the best places were to go for food. He would tell them how he has met with Tulliquaq, the sea goddess, and how to respect her and the old ways of living.
After telling many long stories to help tire the children, he would always treat them to some of his transformations. Here, we see him at his best — where he would become creatures from the land, sea, and air… all at once. He is even powerful enough to have the pattern from his plaid shirt come through to the outside of his parka!
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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