Joel Sam’s family lives in Bamaga, Cape York, and originates from Saibai Island in the Torres Strait. Born on Thursday Island, he currently lives in Cairns, having finished his art studies in 2005 with a Diploma of Art from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Visual Arts Course at the Tropical North Queensland Institute of TAFE. Since then he has been developing an art practice and technical skills in the media of linocut, sculpture and etching.
Joel’s artworks are inspired by his culture and the sea creatures that live in and around the Torres Strait, such as stingrays, squid, the fish of the reef and the shells and corals of the Coral Sea. In 2011 Joel produced the Cyclone series, based upon the sequence of natural disasters that befall Queensland in the beginning of that year.
Joel Sam is a regular exhibitor at KickArts, and Djumbunji Press publishes several of his prints. Joel's works are held in the collections of the Australian National Maritime Museum, the Burnie Regional Art Gallery, the Cairns Regional Gallery and the Parliament House Art Collection, Canberra.
Joel Sam, Sapur (flying fox) during mango season, 2014, linoprint on paper, 33 x 32cm, edition of 10