Troy Rata is an emerging artist of Māori descent, with roots in the Ngāpuhi and Te Āti Awa of Taranaki. Rata was born in Australia, but has been living in Port Alberni since 1995.
Troy’s involvement in the world of art began with an interest in music that quickly grew to include other creative ventures. Woodworking became a major focus for him as he honed his skills at Alberni District Secondary School and later graduated from Camosun Interurban College as a Red Seal certified carpenter. Troy spent five years working on commercial and residential carpentry projects, seeking out opportunities that allowed him to incorporate fine details and creativity.
In 2017, Troy began working as an apprentice under Gordan Dick, a renowned Nuu-chah-nulth artist. He spent his apprenticeship learning about the Nuu-chah-nulth artistic tradition and engaging in collaborative woodcarving projects, such as Alert Bay’s Cranmer Memorial Totem Pole with artists Kevin Cranmer, Erich Glendale, John Livingston, and Gordon Dick.
As an artist, Troy enjoys the fluid process and unlimited possibilities that separates art from skilled trade. He is influenced by the timeless craftsmanship of woodworking techniques from the Pacific Northwest Coast, Māori, and Japanese cultures. The challenges of new projects are met as opportunities to continue growing as an artist, and Rata is motivated by the sense of accomplishment from finishing each work of art.