Dallas Seymour is a Maori und one of the greats of New Zealand rugby. He had a long and wildly successful career playing in the New Zealand Rugby League and the legendary All Blacks. His name is a household word in New Zealand where he’s widely admired and revered. Today he’s a trainer, passing on his know-how and rich fund of experience to a new generation of players.
It was English settlers who first brought rugby to New Zealand. Over time a strong bond developed between this western type of sport and the tactical strategic culture of combat dear to the Maori. This unusual fusion of two types of culture has made the All Blacks the most successful and the most formidable rugby team in the world.
OUBEY wasn’t just a lover of art and poetry, science, philosophy and science fiction. He was also passionate about the martial arts. The matching of opponents and the physical clash of bodies on the playing field and mat fired him with enthusiasm. There was hardly a sporting discipline which didn’t catch his interest.
So naturally the question arose as to what would happen when a representative of one of these disciplines was brought face to face with one of OUBEYs paintings. After our first Encounters with Elena and Tanemahuta Gray in New Zealand in 2012, this idea took on a more definite shape, and finally led to Dallas Seymour’s Encounter with OUBEYs painting “Samurai” during the fourth stopover of the OUBEY Encounter Global Tour in March 2014.
Unlike all the other Encounters with OUBEYs paintings, which always took place at home or at work in surroundings familiar to the person viewing the painting for the first time, reasons of logistics dictated that this one had to take place in an impersonal rented room. Yet in our considered opinion such a strange setting has in no way impinged on the intensity and quality of Dallas Seymour’s Encounter with OUBEYs “Samurai”. On the contrary we’re amazed by the tremendous sensitivity with which a rugby professional like Dallas Seymour approached the painting. A sensitivity due in no small part to the fact that he’s a Maori.