Furniture designer Trent Jansen and highly skilled wood punu artists Tanya Singer and Errol Evans have been working on their latest body of work for three years. It’s been a meaningful exchange of culture and creativity, and now their resulting exhibition ‘Kurunpa Kunpu/Strong Spirit’ is finally on show for Melbourne Design Week!
It began when Minyma Anangu woman Tanya, and a Djabugay and Western Yalanji man Errol and Maruku Arts invited Trent to their homelands at Railway Bore — about 4 hours south of Alice Springs in remote South Australia.
‘Tanya and Errol are talented wood carvers and we have spent the last few years visiting each other in our respective communities to engage in a two-way-learning process to design a new collection of highly bespoke, limited edition timber furniture,’ Design Anthropology’s Trent explained.
The designers were committed to learning from (and about) each other’s unique relationships with Country, family, and community, and also spent time in Trent’s hometown of Thirroul on the New South Wales South Coast.
Throughout their conversations, climate change came out as shared concern which helped inspire the exhibition of sculptural chairs, cabinets, and credenzas.
Motifs of drying, cracked earth and protection are woven throughout the final pieces, which the team crafted from American hardwoods that were sustainably sourced with the help of American Hardwood Export Council. And the final pieces are just as intriguing as the story behind the collection!
See ‘Kurunpa Kunpu/Strong Spirit’ at Artbank Melbourne from May 23-June 1. Find out more here.