PLAYMAKER
The Playmaker
Let's play
PLAYMAKER
  • It's Friday
    What day is it?
  • Now
    What time is it?
  • Anywhere in Brisbane
    Where are you?
  • What do you feel like?
    What do you feel like?
  • And what else?
    And what else?
  • LET'S PLAY
20° & CLOUDY ON FRIDAY 20 SEPTEMBER IN BRISBANE
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Parrtjima Festival Is Currently Lighting Up Alice Springs with Seven Epic Light Installations

The festival — now in its fourth year — celebrates Indigenous arts, culture and storytelling.
By Libby Curran and Sarah Ward
April 06, 2019
  shares

Parrtjima Festival Is Currently Lighting Up Alice Springs with Seven Epic Light Installations

The festival — now in its fourth year — celebrates Indigenous arts, culture and storytelling.
By Libby Curran and Sarah Ward
April 06, 2019
  shares

It might just be Australia's brightest festival, and it's currently lighting up Alice Springs once again. That'd be Parrtjima - A Festival In Light, which has just kicked off the event's fourth and most expansive annual program. Running until Sunday, April 14, it's a shift from the fest previous timeslot, moving from spring to autumn.

The nation's first indigenous festival of its kind, Parrtjima may have moved its dates, but it is still filled with dazzling light installations. As part of, the free ten-day public celebration of Indigenous arts, culture and storytelling, seven luminous displays are gracing both the Alice Springs Desert Park Precinct and the Alice Springs Todd Mall.

Language of Kin, Parrtjima festival, Alice Springs, Australia. 5/4/2019. Image courtesy Parrtjima / NTMEC.

While Alice Spring's CBD is being lit up with new installations and events, just out of town, tourism and conservation facility Alice Springs Desert Park has come alive with the festival's main attraction. Once again, a huge artwork has transformed a 2.5-kilometre stretch of the majestic MacDonnell Ranges, showering it with light from 6.30–10.30pm each night of the festival — and featuring an audio track voiced by Aussie acting legend Aaron Pedersen. Visitors can also immerse themselves in art and storytelling as part of the returning Ahelhe Itethe – Living Sands (Grounded), where installations are projected onto the earth accompanied by a striking soundscape.

While Parrtjima's returning slate is strong, new additions to this year's lineup include an illuminated tunnel that greets attendees as they enter the festival space, called Angkentye Anpernirrentye-kerte – The Language of Kin; an array of over-sized sculptures that relay the social history of First Nations station workers and their language of the land, dubbed Angkentye Stockmen Mape-kenhe – The Language of Stockmen; and a series of sculptured large-scale moths, badged The Language of Moths, which are brightening up Todd Mall. There's also a huge maze for kids and a set-up of three bush taxis displaying works by First Nations artists.

Parrtjima festival, Alice Springs, Australia. 6/4/2019. Image courtesy Parrtjima / NTMEC

As 2019 is the UN's Year of Indigenous Languages, the festival also has a linguistic edge — as many of the light installations' names make plain. With a theme of 'Language Expressions', the full program features talks and workshops focused on Central Australia's many Indigenous languages.

Also on the bill is jam-packed program of dance, music, workshops and talks, sharing stories and celebrating First Nations' culture. It's a nice supplement to the area's Field of Light installation, which has been extended until 2020.

Parrtjima – A Festival in Light runs until April 14, 2019 around Alice Springs in the Northern Territory. For more information, visit the festival website.

Images: James Horan.

Published on April 06, 2019 by Libby Curran

  •   shares
      shares
  • VIEW COMMENTS
Tap and select Add to Home Screen to access Concrete Playground easily next time. x