samoa (born 1941)

The name of my motherís village where I was brought up is Fatuvalu; which means ĎEight Heartsí, one of those great old stories that passed through the Folauga from generation to generation.
The legend is about a woman called Aimalesau and an octopus that was believed to have in each of its eight arms, a heart of its own. Well, Iíve fished, prepared and eaten a few octopuses in my time; but have not yet found any hearts. My village and its name will stay on board the Folauga as long as Samoa is on the surface of this planet.

Johnny Penisula

 Fatuvalu 2006
 black argillite
 collection of the artist

Johnny Penisula was the first contemporary Pacific sculptor to exhibit in New Zealand, having arrived from Samoa in 1962.

The integration of the hearts with the octopus symbolises the journey of an ancient legend from Samoa to Aotearoa. By using one of the Pacificís rarest and hardest stones, the artist reveals the continuity of ancient carving practices.