Kurunpa Kunpu | Strong Spirit is an exhibition of new works, resulting from a multi-year cross-cultural design collaboration between Tanya Singer, Errol Evans (of Maruku Arts) and designer Trent Jansen.

Over a 3-year period Tanya, Errol and Trent have spent time in each other’s communities, learning from and about each other’s unique relationships with Country, family, and community, and engaging with their respective cultural practices and traditions. Concepts of exchange and reciprocity have focused this collaboration, ensuring balanced input from each collaborator in creative decision-making and resulting in works emergent from true co-authorship.

For Tanya and Errol, who live and work at Railway Bore, a homeland community near Indulkana in the Aṉangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands (South Australia), this collaboration presented a significant opportunity to transform their art practices into new forms. Trent is a seasoned collaborator working with other First Nations artists and for him the project facilitated continued engagement with First Peoples’ knowledge of Country and unique approaches to making and design.

Opening alongside the Revealed exhibition, Kurunpa Kunpu | Strong Spirit speaks to the resilience of both First Nations People and ngura (Country) while celebrating the possibilities of inter-cultural collaboration founded upon generosity, equality, and reciprocity.


Tanya Singer & Errol Evans

Tayna and Errol are husband and wife carving team, living and working at Railway Bore, near Indulkana, Aṉangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands (APY Lands), South Australia. The couple form a strong carving team, weaving together the making traditions of the tropics and the desert.

Tanya Singer (Yankunytjatjara Peoples) is Minyma Anangu, an Aboriginal woman who comes from a family of artists and makers. She, her mother Sadie Singer, her sister Trisha Singer and brother Bernard Singer are punu (wood) carvers who worked for many years with Maruku Arts. Tanya is a mother to three daughters, sits on important boards and works as a translator. Instructed in traditional carving by her grandmothers, aunts and mothers, Tanya brings her own flair and attention to detail to her work.

Errol Evans (Yalanji Peoples) is originally from Djabugay and Western Yalanji Country in far north Queensland. He was trained by his grandfather Ron Reynolds as a teenager, spending his time carving during the holidays.

Together, this wife and husband team bring together the traditions and approaches of both the wet tropics and the desert. Tanya, Errol, and her youngest daughter live together with Tanya’s Hungarian father in Railway Bore, where they work from an established family-run carving workshop. During the hot summer months, the family live in north Queensland, working alongside Errol’s family.

Tanya and Errol are both represented by Maruku Arts

Trent Jansen | Trent Jansen Studio

Trent Jansen is a designer and academic based in Thirroul, New South Wales. He has developed a unique style of design, known as Design Anthropology, which seeks to respond to, and work with imperfections of humanity and the natural world. This process involves studying the history and culture of human societies and taking design inspiration from the rich stories of human life, culture, and heritage. The resulting works express human stories and qualities, rather than utilitarian objects focussed purely on function.

Objects and spaces designed by Trent Jansen and his studio team explore the unique identities of individuals, families, and communities, embodying engaging narratives that excite with their unique difference, or comfort with their familiarity. Every project developed under this model is designed to speak to its owner on an emotional level, becoming an important artefact in the life of the owner and forging a long-standing, meaningful relationship with that individual, family, or organisation.


Curated by Glenn Iseger-Pilkington with the artists, presented in association with Maruku Arts.

Acknowledgments and Attributions

Kuruṉpa Kuṉpu | Strong Spirit is presented in association with Maruku Arts, a non-for-profit arts and crafts organisation, supporting Aṉangu throughout the Western and Central Deserts. All works are presented courtesy of the artists. Tanya Singer and Errol Evans are represented by Maruku Arts.

This project has been supported by: the American Hardwood Export Council; the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body; Arts South Australia, the Department of the Premier and Cabinet; the University of New South Wales Art & Design; Maruku Arts; the National Gallery of Victoria’s Melbourne Design Week; and Fremantle Arts Centre.