TDF’s Top Picks For Parrtijma 2022, A Festival In Light

Experience Central Australia like you’ve never seen it before – lit up in colourful, interactive lights!

Parrtjima, A Festival in Light, kicks off on Friday, April 8 for a 10-night celebration of Country and culture.

Guests to Alice Springs Desert Park will experience brilliant large-scale light installations, a fantastic light show, art, performances and interactive workshops – all of which are free! Here are our top picks.

Bea Taylor

‘Eagle’s Eye’ is a spiralling tunnel of 160 combs mounted on steel rings and features a bespoke digital animation of various works by Jeannie Nungarrayi Egan (1948 – 2009). Photo – Parrtjimba 2022.

‘Grounded’ projects a mesmerising sequence of animated curated artworks onto the red sands of Alice Springs Desert Park. Photo – Parrtjimba 2022.

The MacDonnell Ranges Light show. Photo – Parrtjimba 2022.

Left: More artwork from the ‘Grounded’ light installation. Right: ‘Water Tree’ featuring work by Karen Napaljarri Barnes. Photo – Parrtjimba 2022.

Left: Artist Farron Jampitjinpa Furber stands in front of his light installation, ‘Flight’. Right: ‘Night Sky’ by artist Carmen Glynn-Braun features 1200 beautifully illuminated orbs suspended from a dome. Photo – Parrtjimba 2022.

Bea Taylor
8th of April 2022

From April 8 to April 17 the MacDonnell Ranges in Central Australia will be lit up as a beautiful light installation for Parrtjima, A Festival in Light, celebrating Country and culture. 

Parrtjima is the only authentic Aboriginal light festival of its kind. Parrtjima, which means to shed both light and understanding, is the place where old meets new, celebrating and showcasing the oldest continuous culture through the newest technology. 

Held on Mpartwe (Alice Springs) for 10 nights, this free event invites guests to watch as the desert comes alive with new large-scale light installations and an incredible program of performances and workshops. 

Here are our top TDF picks! 

Parrtjima Light Installations 

We would be remiss not to have this one at the top of our list! This year the theme of Parrtjima is ‘Sky Country’ – an important part of the ecology and philosophy of Aborginal culture – with each of the large-scale light installations emphasising elements of sky, air and wind. 

Among the signature installations you’ll find; Kangaroo Grass (a sea of custom-made LED spears and colourful gobos accompanied by an evocative soundscape), Night Sky (a 15m diameter dome installation made up of 1200 beautifully illuminated orbs) and the MacDonnell Ranges Light Show (which will see the 300 million-year-old natural canvas lit up spectacularly). Plus so many more

These incredible installations are best viewed from 7pm at the earliest, and are on every night until 10.15pm. 

Maruku arts: Sky stories through sand drawing

Learn more about this year’s Parrtjima theme Sky Country with an in-depth demonstration of sand drawing. 

Maruku artists will skilfully translate, through their drawings, traditional narratives and share deep-rooted connections bound to the sky and land. In this demonstration you’ll learn about the symbols that have been used in the teaching of Tjukurpa (the creation of time) in language. 

This demonstration is on Monday April 11 from 6.30pm – 7.30pm – spaces are limited, but a few tickets will be available on the night, so get there early to secure your spot.

Left: Parrtjimba 2022 curator, Rhoda Roberts. Right: Maruku Art sand drawing workshop. Photo – Parrtjimba 2022.

Learn from the Hermannsburg potters as they demonstrate traditional potting techniques. Photo – Parrtjimba 2022.

Hermannsburg Potters: Live Pottery Demonstration

In this engaging workshop the Hermannsburg potters and artists will demonstrate their techniques and process for creating their unique works depicting Western Arrernte Country, culture and stories of contemporary life in Central Australia. 

Watch them pot from coil and then decorate their finished pieces with intricate designs and underglazes. 

This workshop is on Saturday, April 9 from 6.30pm – 7.30pm and 8.30pm – 9.30pm – spaces are limited, but a few tickets will be available on the night, so get there early to secure your spot! 

House of Darwin: Screen Printing

Join Shaun Edwards (Larrakia man, former Essendon AFL player and founder of social enterprise House of Darwin) and Nina Fitzgerald (Kakadu, Torres Strait Islander and Wuthathi creative powerhouse) in a hands-on screen-printing workshop

Here you’ll design your own themed tote bag and take home a piece of Parrtjima! Plus, you’ll get to learn from two First Nations creative forces. 

This workshop is on Friday April 8 from 6.30pm – 7.45pm – and 8.30pm – 9.45pm – spaces are limited, but a few tickets will be available on the night, so get there early to secure your spot.

General admission tickets to Parrtjima, A Festival of Light, are free! You’ll need to have a ticket for entry to Desert Park – get one here

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