Emerging artist Samara Alefaio (born 2003) started taking her practice seriously in Year 10, and has since furthered her studies to include printmaking (and etching).
The artist has transposed her love for greek mythology and it’s statues and scupltures into etched icons, the likes of Percy Jackson and Zeus.
Samara also works in acrylic, the fast drying paint allows to express herself quickly and affirmativley. Her painted subjects are usually Samoan weapons and tatau patterns from the Malu.
For the installation at The Oyster, the artist recreated an interior setting, to speak to the Pacific Island community of Ōtara. The work includes a contemporary tapa banner, inspired by the artist’s uncle, the late Henry Wilson (1968-2001), whose work wraps The Ōysters outer shell and additional canvases to build out the homely feel.
It was Samara’s first solo exhibition outside of school.
The Oyster spoke to Samara about her art below ...
Who is one of your biggest influences?
My uncle Henry Wilson.
What do you love most about being an artist?
Being able to express yourself.
What recent exhibition most excited you and why?
I have grown up surrounded by my Uncle Henrys artworks. It’s in my mums house, all his siblings have his art.
How do you think your heritage informs your art practice?
Heavily. Mostly my work is based on my own culture. In a way it’s about me learning about it. I come across new patterns. All the patterns have a story.
What is the main message you want to convey through your work in general?
It’s never too late to learn about your own culture.