a Festival in Light
Parrtjima is the meeting place where old meets new. It is the only authentic Aboriginal festival of its kind, showcasing the oldest continuous culture on earth through the newest technology – all on the 300-million-year-old natural canvas of the MacDonnell Ranges in Central Australia.Source: Parrtjima – A Festival in Light
Each year this free event celebrates the ways in which artists evolve and experiment with different styles and materials, while staying true to Country and culture.
Parrtjima is held on Mparntwe (Alice Springs), which is connected to the estates of Mparntwe, Antulye and Irlpme. This also includes a network of people who have connections to these areas; some of whom have established the Parrtjima Festival Reference Group (PFRG) to guide and help create Parrtjima.
Together, they invite visitors to come and experience Parrtjima, and watch the desert come alive with new artworks, light shows and a program of performances, interactive workshops, music, films and talks.
Parrtjima returns to Alice Springs from 9-18 April 2021, and the theme for the festival is Future Kultcha.
This recent addition to the Central Australia events and festival calendar launched in early September 2016. With each subsequent year, the event has got better and better, then moving to early April in 2018.
Due to the postponement of the event in April 2020, the event was rescheduled for 11-20 September, 2020 with the theme ‘Lifting Our Spirits’.
See our images from the 2020 Lifting Our Spirits – Parrtjima – A Festival in Light.
For those who did not make Parrtjima in 2020… check out the Parrtjima vitual tour (by the NT Major Events Company) and visit their website to look at previous years event and stories behind each event…
The Language of Kin
Parrtjima worked very closely with members of the Parrtjima Festival Reference Group in order to create a script to allow visitors an insight into the kinship system.
The kinship system across Central Australia is a very complex system and determines how people relate to each other and country. It tells of their roles, responsibilities and obligations in relation to one another.
The kinship system determines who you can marry, who to avoid, who to respect, who to be playful with and who to learn from. The cultural group may be divided into 2, 4, 6 or 8 groups.
Parrtjima 2019 saw them add a great line-up of live musicians, as part of the continually evolving festival.
Apmere-Le Anwerne Apurte-Irrele
Check out our images from our 2018 archive with the following sculptural work
Forest Space / Apmere Anteke Arne-Kenhe
The following beautiful sculptural presentation from the 2018 festival is titled:
Gateway Nature Space
Thipele Areme Kwenekele, Tyerrtye Mape-Werne
(Birds Looking Down, People Looking In)
By artist Myra Patrick Herbert, Warnayaka Art Centre, Lajamanu, NT
Budgerigar Dreaming – Ngatijirri Jukurrpa
Ngatijirri is a bird with a hooked beak, a small green bird. It is yellowish across the forehead. Budgerigars flying from tree to tree search for food for the young ones. It flies all over our country. They know all the trees, creeks and water holes. They all get together and fly out to billabongs. They sleep in hollow trees near their special billabongs. Budgerigar dreamings belongs to the people in the skin groups Japaljarri, Napaljarri, Jungarrayi and Nungarra.
Myra Patrick Herbert gave Parrtjima permission to use shapes from her painting to create over a thousand sculptures of birds.
Significant Arrernte Elders asked for young people to be creatively involved in Parrtjima.
These abstract bird shapes have been painted by school and community groups at the request of Arrernte Elders and with Myra Patrick Herbert’s permission.
Source: Parrtjima Festival signage, 2018
A Festival in Light
In this inaugural 2016 event Parrtjima Australia introduced us to ‘A Festival in Light’.
Range of Expression
Play a part in illuminating the magnificent McDonnell Ranges.
Step into our interactive booth and take control of the panels and watch you creation come to life before your eyes.
Throughout the evening ‘Parrtjima’ will be seen on 2.3 km of the MacDonnell Ranges. The naturalistic themed spectacular that references the drama and power of the vast and incredible natural landscape.
As well as the spectacular projections onto the ranges, there were projections onto the ground.
Indigenous paintings by local artists projected ontot he desert sands, merging art with the landscape. Returning Indigenous art to country.
This series was created with curatorial assistance from the Araluen Arts Centre (Araluen Cultural Precinct) and Iltjarra Ntjarra Many Hands Arts Centre in Alice Springs.
Works projected on the ground are by Mervyn Rubuntja, Hubert Pareroultja, Gloria Pannka, Wenton Rubuntja and Myra Ah Chee.
Check out the Parrtjima Australia website: