Artist Tanya Singer
Title Piti
Year 2021

Utjanypa (ironwood)

Dimensions 70.4 × 14.5 × 36 cm
Art Centre Maruku Arts →

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Tanya Singer

Tanya Singer was born in Mparntwe (Alice Springs) in 1977 and lives on her family outstation of Railway Bore near the South Australian, APY community of Indulkana. She creates works on canvas and punu with a contemporary interpretation, and innovative use of materials and mark-making.

Artist statement

The piti or wooden bowl is a woman’s traditional carrying vessel for food and water. Together with a wana or mulga wood digging stick and a wira, a smaller version of the piti used to scoop soil or ladle water, it was used by women hunting for witchetty grubs, honey ants or small burrowing animals and their eggs. After loosening the soil with a wana it was shovelled aside from the hole with the wira and the bounty carried home in the piti. The piti was also used for carrying an immense variety of other desert seeds and fruits. A manguri or head-ring, was used to cushion the bowl as the women carried it on their heads to collect food and water. It was made of spun hair and emu feathers or coiled grasses. Tanya uses a very contemporary approach. She learned carving from her mother and grandmother but gave her bowl her own design.