Clan groups: Umai/Suy Baydham
Language group: Kala Kawaw Ya
Joel Sam was born in 1977 on Thursday Island, Torres Strait, Queensland. His family lives in Bamaga, Queensland, and is originally from Saibai Island. He lives and works in Cairns, Queensland.
Joel creates intricate carvings and sculptures made from shell and marble. He is also a printmaker, using etching and linocut to create works that are inspired by his Torres Strait Islander culture and way of life. Joel’s designs are largely based on totemic and clan markings, and often include plants and animals, creatures from the sea, and astral constellations.
Joel’s work has been represented in numerous exhibitions, including the annual Cairns Indigenous Art Fair since 2016, and the Cairns Art Gallery’s North by East West exhibition in 2018.
RITUAL: the past in the present
15 May – 22 Aug 2021
North by East West: Re–igniting a cultural connection through pearl shell
6 Jul – 19 Aug 2018
The Cairns Art Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land on which we work and live. We pay our respects to Elders past and present. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website may contain images, names or voices of deceased persons in photographs, film or text.