The death of English painter John Poynton in adopted homeland of Samoa, last month in his home on the falls of Mt Vaea in the village of Palisi.
John lived in Samoa from the 1970s and once had a ram-shackled gallery on the foreshore near the Government buildings on Beach Road. In more recent years he fell upon what he freely admitted ,in a matter of fact way, were hard times. He had unsuccessful surgery in Samoa to correct a sight problem, he described the operation as a 'botch up' which left him with poor vision and he was frustrated by needing to use his pencil or paint brush with his 'good' eye only centimetres from the work while holding his 'bad' eye closed.
The last time I saw him he was walking out from a fast food store holding his portfolio of paintings and drawings in one arm and food in his free hand just brought with money from the sale of some drawings and paintings. I didn't know the man well but by some good fortune some in my family did, seeing him reminded me of the many writers and artists that have come under the spell of the South Pacific and who, like John, were devoted to their work in an exotic life-style that endlessly changed shape in one's imagination.