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.
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.