ABOVE: Tanya Singer, Trent Jansen & Errol Evans

  • Cross-cultural design collaboration of timber furniture three years in the making
  • Artforms respond to climate change and highlight the resilience of First Nations peoples
  • Artists Tanya Singer, Errol Evans and designer Trent Jansen will give a public talk at Fremantle Arts Centre on 4 July 2023 as part of NAIDOC Week

Kuruṉpa Kuṉpu | Strong Spirit, a new body of collectible furniture, is exhibiting at the Fremantle Arts Centre until Sunday 23 July 2023.The collection of artforms is the result of a unique multi-year cross-cultural design collaboration between skilled First Nations wood punu artists Tanya Singer, Errol Evans, and non-Indigenous furniture designer Trent Jansen. The collaboration has aimed to highlight the resilience of First Nations People and ngura (Country) through crafting a body of 10 collectible works of furniture inspired by manta pilti (dry sand) and kutuji (shields).

In part a response to climate change experienced by the artists own communities in South Australia’s remote APY Lands, the collection shares the story of a rapidly warming and dehydrating landscape and the damage to ecosystems and native flora, Country, culture and community. It is a poignant reminder of the need for environmental responsibility and action.

Glenn Iseger Pilkington, Visual Arts Curator at the Fremantle Arts Centre commented:

“Kuruṉpa Kuṉpu | Strong Spirit is a celebration of excellence and of the incredible potential of meaningful, open and generous collaboration. We’re proud to have been involved in this project over the past three years, and to have been able to launch the exhibition here at Fremantle Arts Centre.
The works you see in the exhibition are the outcomes of years of discussion, consideration and exchange between three artists who herald from different parts of this place we call Australia, but which come together in a series of finely crafted design works that emerge from working together, across time and place, but also across cultures. In a year where this nation looks to its history, and to its future, reflecting on the exclusion of First Nations people from our Constitution, this exhibition is a salient reminder of what can be achieved when we all take time to listen to each other, and work together with a common goal.”