Samuel’s earthy maturity, so prevalent in his work, comes from growing up on the tropical island of Tokelau, one of three coral atolls in the South Pacific. His father owned a vegetable plantation and was the subject of his first drawing, for which he memorably received a “big tick” from his teacher.

The family emigrated to New Zealand when Samuel was aged seven. Armed with a deeply ingrained sense of place, today he finds most comfort near water – rivers or the sea – and has an appetite for bananas, coconut and caramel – a true islander now with an urban twist.


Samuel has an admiration for mastery with his ultimate talent trifecta in Bruce Lee who he says is synonymous with fighting, Anthony Hopkins for his extraordinary storytelling versatility and Leonardo da Vinci who he describes in epic terms as a universal, multi-talented genius. Of course it follows that his fascination with the popularly theorised moment when a planetary body grazed across the earth to form the moon, is one moment he would gladly experience if time capsules existed.

Artist:  Samuel Sakaria

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