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Kutuji Chair (Shield Chair)

Errol Evans & Trent Jansen


  • Year


  • Medium

    American walnut

  • Size

    112 H x 105 W x 90cm D

Errol Evans is a Djabugay and Western Yalanji man originally from far North Queensland. He splits his time living and working between Homelands at Railway Bore, near Indulkana in remote South Australia and his home Country in far north Queensland. Errol is a highly skilled wood (punu) artist, known for embodying sophisticated cultural narratives in large carved forms including spears, nyura (mob), tjutinypa (club) and kutitji (shields). In carving these large objects, Errol usually begins with a chainsaw to rough out the form before using other mechanised and manual tools to painstakingly shape these highly refined artefacts. Kutitji Chair (shield), designed by Errol Evans and Trent Jansen, resulted from Errol’s passion for carving large objects. This project developed as a sketch exchange between Errol and Trent, starting with a drawing by Errol, incorporating traditional weapons and shields as components of a chair. Through several iterations of call and response, Errol and Trent refined this idea to mimic Errol’s beautifully refined, large shield forms. The collaboration resulting in a simple chair structure that draws on the idiosyncratic lines and surfaces of these artefacts. Kutitji Chair (Shield) is an expression of Errol’s concern about the impacts of climate change and the drying out of Country that is affecting local ecosystems. He sees these shields as a defence against changing times.

Exhibition Artist Errol Evans & Trent Jansen

  • Born

    "Tanya: Yankunytjatjara Peoples, SA b.1977 Mparntwe | Alice Springs Trent: Trent Jansen Studio b.1981 Wollongong, NSW"

  • Lives & Works

    "Tanya: lives & works Railway Bore, near Indulkana, An–angu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands (APY Lands), SA Trent: lives & works Thirroul, NSW"

"Tanya and Errol are a husband and wife carving team, living and working at Railway Bore, near Indulkana, Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands (APY Lands), South Australia. The couple form a strong artistic 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. Tanya, her mother Sadie, her sisters Trisha and Priscilla and brothers Bernard and Brenton are punu (wood) carvers, Some of whom have worked for many years with Maruku Arts. Instructed in traditional carving by her grandmothers, aunts and mothers, Tanya brings her own flair and attention to detail to her work. She is a mother to three
daughters, sits on important boards and works as a translator.

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.

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."

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