Parrtjima – A Festival in Light 2019, Alice Springs

Ended — at Alice Springs Desert Park

Parrtjima is a free 10-night festival held annually in Alice Springs. 

Ikuntji Artists are excited to be part of the 2019 Parrtjima Festival of Light,  featuring works by artists Anne Dixon and Roseranna Larry.

About the festival:

Parrtjima is the only authentic First Nations festival of its kind, showcasing the oldest continuous cultures on earth through the newest technology – all on a 300-million-year-old natural canvas in the Red Centre. Parrtjima celebrates the ways in which artists can evolve and experiment with different styles and materials, while staying true to the ancient philosophy of connection and Country.

Set against the backdrop of the MacDonnell Ranges, Parrtjima is held on Mparntwe (Alice Springs), which always was and always will be part of the Arrernte people. Mparntwe is connected to the estates of Antulye and Irlpme, as well as a network of custodians who hold rights and responsibilities for these areas. A group of which guide and help create Parrtjima. Together they invite visitors to come and experience Parrtjima, and gain a deeper understanding of, and connection to, country and Arrernte culture.

Held across two event precincts over 10 nights, the free event includes incredible artwork and light installations alongside a 10-night public program of interactive workshops, music, films and talks.

Alongside Arrernte art and artists, the festival also features work from across the Central Desert region and associated other parts of the Northern Territory.

2019 theme:
The theme for Parrtjima 2019 is Language Expressions, which aligns with the United Nations Year of Indigenous Languages.

The Arrernte mother tongue languages of the Central and Western desert are an essential instrument in providing age old Aboriginal education, and an exploration of a new dialogue, that will take us into a new century.

Each year at Parrtjima the desert comes alive with new artworks, light shows and a range of performances, workshops and talks carefully developed by Parrtjima’s curator Rhoda Roberts AO in collaboration with the Reference group, AGB Events and First Nation artists and art centres
This year’s theme, Language Expressions, will be explored through seven new, immersive installations across Desert Park, including the spectacular backdrop that is the lighting of the MacDonnell Ranges. Visitors will immerse themselves in the art, sounds and stories of country and the Arrernte people of Alice Springs, Mparntwe.

The entire length of Todd Mall will come to life through lighting effects and soundscape designed to educate and inspire visitors. Interwoven through the lighting effects this year will be representations of the Moth and Stink Bug as we honour other ancestral beings for Mparntwe, and further build on the Caterpillar creation time stories of the Arrernte people presented last year.

Knowledge Program:

The free 10-day program will include interactive workshops, talks, nightly films and performances across both event precincts (Alice Springs Desert Park and Todd Mall) so you can share in the stories of country and its people. See the art of  spear making or try your hand at sand painting with local custodians. You can also experience an array or local and internationally acclaimed music acts at the Festival Hub, including Yolngu hip-hop artist and rapper Baker Boy – recently awarded 2019 Young Australian of The Year – and singer/songwriter Mojo Juju.

Visit event website.


Alice Springs Desert Park
Alice Springs Desert Park
Larapinta Drive
Alice Springs NT 0871

Parrtjima - A festival in light