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Sara  (Hera) Tautuku Orme, (Ngāti Awa,Ngāti Tarāwhai, Te Arawa, Pakeha) based in Aotearoa New Zealand.

After completing a degree in Sociology, majoring in Feminist studies & Ethnicity, (Canterbury University 1987) she later went on to study photography (1993) with a focus on research, documentary and portrait photography.

Sara   (Hera) Tautuku Orme has reclaimed the cameras ability to observe, turning it into an anti-colonial , anti patriarchal device, through creating works that celebrate her patrilineal heritage (Ngāti Awa,Ngāti Tarāwhai, Te Arawa) and matrilineal heritage, celebrating the histories of feminism. This action has been inspired by the way in which Orme’s life has been defined by the complexities of her own self-portrait: 

Orme’s first pioneering project, This Is Not The Red Carpet, (1993) emerged from her  immersion of third wave feminism ain the 90's.

Te Teko (2009- )has been a decade long and ongoing. Te Teko project began soon after the death of her Father ,and explores the small populated community of which himself, and five generations before them were born. 

Responding to the life around her, Stroke,(or Ward DG)  gives light to her seventy nine year old mother, with so much vitality and intelligence, grappling with new life after her stroke. 

Orme’s work is both an investigation of sociological landscapes of both herself and those around her. Her community, feminism and family continue to be central to her work.

Orme is currently working on  Ko au te awa, te awa ko au -I am the river and the river is me. 

The awa (river) is a toanga (treasure) towards identity and is the mauri (life force) of the indigenous people of Aotearoa, New Zealand. Our awa is the life giver of all things. It is water in its purest form and has the power to give life, sustain wellbeing and counteract evil. Ko Toku Awa- is part of an ongoing project exploring the spiritual connection with whenua (land), tupuna(ancestors) and wairua (spirit). Ko Toku Awa draws strongly on the complexity of colonialism in Aotearoa New Zealand, The Raupatu, (land theft) consequences of dislocation and assumes norms that are referenced from history, memory, and whenua (land) .

Select exhibitions

2022, National Contemporary Art Award finalist and award recipient

2022, Rangi-TeTeko, Caelum Gallery. New York

2022, The Portrait, Blindside, PHOTO 2022 International Festival of Photography, Melbourne

2022, Kaha, Ellen Melville centre, Womens Work, Auckland, New Zealand

2021, Underexposed, Ellen Melville centre, Womens Work, Auckland, New Zealand

2021, ​​Look to the future with progressive ideals Thistle Hall, Women In Photography NZ_AU, Wellington, New Zealand

2021, Te Teko Womens Work Ellen Melville Centre, Auckland. 

2020, She Once Said, Womens Work Ellen Melville Centre, Auckland

2016, Redemption,The Keep,  Auckland

2011, Koha Te Papa, In collaboration with Ngai Tahu, Wellington 

2004, Aotea Barbi, Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls   Centre of Contemporary Art (CoCA),  Christchurch, NZ. 


Select awards, select features, press, publications, interviews  

2022, National Contemporary Art Award finalist and award recipient

2021, What happened to the Maunga, Essay by Matariki Williams

2021, Guest speaker, Womens Work, 

2020, Critics Choice Award Winner, Charlotte Cotton Lensculture, New York

2020,  A different Lens  Panel talk. Imbalance of gender in the photographic industry. Womens Work Aotearoa

2020, D-photo A pioneer in photography 

2020, Growing Up Blonde and Maori

2019 Fissure & women in photography, Auckland Festival of Photography panel talk.

2019, Behind the lens of a female photojournalist. Auckland Festival of Photography artist talk.



AIPA Vice President 


Women In Photography Aotearoa-Australia

Womens Work Aotearoa    

Nga Tamaoki me Ngati Tarawhai Ki Ruaihona  



University of Canterbury, Bachelor of Art History, Sociology-Feminist Studies , Ethnicity, Christchurch, New Zealand  

Unitec,-Auckland .Diploma in photography. School of Photography, Auckland, new Zealand   

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