Tanya has been practicing art for over 16 years, with the birth of her first daughter came an inexplicable urge to create. Ruka has been taught wairuatanga (spirit), kaitiakitanga (guardianship), tiikanga (correct practice) and mātauranga Māori (knowledge) by kuia of her tribe Waitaha (a matriarchal tribe) and Ruka’s practice has evolved to incorporate these teachings.

The key elements of her research practice are the development of biophilic and regenerative design. This being the inherent need for humans to have connection with nature, especially in built up, urban environments. As a Māori artist she is exploring this innate relationship through Māori cosmology & mythologies.

Ruka’s installations weave with light the ancient Māori concepts and practices of kaitiakitanga (stewardship), tiikanga (correct procedure) & wairuatanga (spirituality) to flow through, enhance and compliment new ideas in design, science and technology. Using whole systems theory Ruka seeks a reconnection to nature and the knowledge of our tūpuna with a focus on greater positive affects for the environment.



(Matariki’ 2009- light sculpture | sold)


Ruka’s work is held in public and private collections nationally and internationally. Her video installations have shown at various art & film festivals around the world including opening the 5th International Indigenous Film Festival in Kathmandu Nepal.

2016 curated by the arts agency




GIS mapping Matauranga Maori wananga – with Google Earth & LINZ

Master of Art & Design Honours, AUT
Duty Supervisor Wallace Arts Trust Centre

Post Grad Diploma Master of Art & Design, AUT
Duty Supervisor Wallace Arts Trust Centre

Bachelor of Visual Arts (4yr degree), The University of Auckland, MSVA
Duty Supervisor Wallace Arts Trust Centre

Diploma in Visual Arts, Manukau Institute of technology

art awards

Finalist Digital Graffiti
Finalist Wallace Art Awards