Photo credit: H Romero

Photo credit: H Romero


Pelenakeke Brown is a New York based artist, writer and performer originally from New Zealand. She is half Samoan and all her work explores the Samoan concept of the ‘Va’ (Space) irrelevant of form. As a disabled afakasi (half-Caucasian) Samoan woman she straddles many in-between spaces. 

She has exhibited her work in New York and San Francisco.  She was an artist with the New York Foundation for the Arts, Immigrant Artist Program for 2016/17. She has attended a residency at the Vermont Studio Center and her work has been published in the James Franco Review, Hawai'i Review and Apogee Journal.

Pelenakeke has performed with various groups including as a dancer and founding member of Touch Compass Dance Trust, the first mixed-ability company in New Zealand. In New York she has collaborated and performed with social justice group Gender/Power. artist Yuko Uchida and dancers Marissa Perel and iele paloumpis. 

In 2011 she received a BA from the University of Auckland, New Zealand in English Literature and Pacific Studies and completed the Studio Art Intensive Program at the National Academy School of Fine Arts, in New York City 2013- 16.

She is a proud big sister to Ese, Deborah, Elsie, Noah and Timothy.