Saffronn Te Ratana

b. 1975

Saffronn Te Ratana was born in Palmerston North and is of Ngāi Tūhoe decent.

Te Ratana's studies began at Elam School of Fine Arts at the University of Auckland. At this time she was already participating in major exhibitions including Purangiaho: Seeing Clearly (2001) at the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki and Taiāwhio: Continuity and Change (2002) at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

Returning to Palmerston North Te Ratana continued to study within Toioho Ki Apiti at Te Pūtahi-a-Toi, School of Māori Studies, Massey University. She graduated with a Masters of Māori Visual Arts in 2004 and has continued to be involved with Te Pūtahi-a-Toi as a lecturer in Māori visual arts within the school.

Te Ratana works with mixed media, such as fabrics, cardboard, wood, and fibreglass, to create three-dimensional structures, often working collaboratively her partner Ngataiharuru Taepa and others such as Hemi McGregor. Te Ratana's works draw on her heritage, making comment on the suppression of tribal voices.

As well as solo shows Te Ratana has participated in several high-profile group exhibitions locally and internationally.

See also:

Saffronn Te Ratana (Ngāi Tuhoe) & Ngataiharuru Taepa (Te Ati Awa, Te Arawa), ‘Te Hekenga Mai’ (1999), Massey University, Turitea Campus, Te Papa-i-oea Palmerston North

Images: Bronwyn Holloway-Smith, Public Art Heritage Aotearoa New Zealand, 2022