Bernadette Ross

Intricate Woven Works

Growing up on the farm taught her a huge respect for the land, the bush, rivers, and the sea.

Bernie was born in South Auckland on a dairy farm; she was one of nine siblings. Growing up on the farm taught her a huge respect for the land, the bush, rivers, and the sea. These early experiences led her to a landscape gardening career after a brief period of office work. Physical injury meant by the time she was 50, meant a permanent change of direction was required and a subsequent enrolment into Te Wananga o Aotearoa in Tauranga Moana.

What followed was a wonderful four years of learning the Art of Raranga (Flax Weaving). The influence of Tutor Whaea Bibbins Tangitu in her work is clear. Bibbins was a master of Porohita and Kete. While doing her Maunga Kura Toi -Bachelor of Māori Art, she was guided by another skilful, Tauranga weaver Rawhinnia Gray.

Bernie won the Harcourts Art Challenge in January 2020, the Wearable Art Aotearoa section in Coromandel in 2014.She won the Hibiscus Bays Maori Art award in 2023and is current finalist in 2024 competition. In 2019 she was involved in the Star Waka installation for the Tuia Celebrations in Whitianga under the guidance of Dr Maureen Lander.

She has exhibited in Kura Gallery in Wellington and at present has work in Ora Gallery Wellington, Soul Gallery in Hamilton, Pataka Art Gallery store Porirua, Omaha Beach Vineyard, Matakana and The Little Gallery in Tairua and Whangamata.

She works from home, the nature of working with harakeke means her “studio” is all over the house ! The boiling of harakeke takes place in the garage for safety reasons and its set outside to dryin the garden before being hung up in the garage till woven up. I process the harakeke from leaf to split size in lounge or convenient desk and weave the pieces on a high bench these days I stand to weave

Growing up on the farm taught her a huge respect for the land, the bush, rivers, and the sea.

Bernie was born in South Auckland on a dairy farm; she was one of nine siblings. Growing up on the farm taught her a huge respect for the land, the bush, rivers, and the sea. These early experiences led her to a landscape gardening career after a brief period of office work. Physical injury meant by the time she was 50, meant a permanent change of direction was required and a subsequent enrolment into Te Wananga o Aotearoa in Tauranga Moana.

What followed was a wonderful four years of learning the Art of Raranga (Flax Weaving). The influence of Tutor Whaea Bibbins Tangitu in her work is clear. Bibbins was a master of Porohita and Kete. While doing her Maunga Kura Toi -Bachelor of Māori Art, she was guided by another skilful, Tauranga weaver Rawhinnia Gray.

Bernie won the Harcourts Art Challenge in January 2020, the Wearable Art Aotearoa section in Coromandel in 2014.She won the Hibiscus Bays Maori Art award in 2023and is current finalist in 2024 competition. In 2019 she was involved in the Star Waka installation for the Tuia Celebrations in Whitianga under the guidance of Dr Maureen Lander.

She has exhibited in Kura Gallery in Wellington and at present has work in Ora Gallery Wellington, Soul Gallery in Hamilton, Pataka Art Gallery store Porirua, Omaha Beach Vineyard, Matakana and The Little Gallery in Tairua and Whangamata.

She works from home, the nature of working with harakeke means her “studio” is all over the house ! The boiling of harakeke takes place in the garage for safety reasons and its set outside to dryin the garden before being hung up in the garage till woven up. I process the harakeke from leaf to split size in lounge or convenient desk and weave the pieces on a high bench these days I stand to weave