The second annual Parrtjima – A Festival in Light has opened in Alice Springs, home of the Arrernte. Illuminating Alice Springs Desert Park for 10 nights, the free outdoor public event showcases contemporary art by talented Aboriginal artists from around Central Australia.
Derived from the Arrernte group of languages, Parrtjima (pronounced Par-CHee-ma) suggests shedding both light and understanding on a subject. In Central and Eastern Arrernte, ‘apateme’ means ‘to have trouble understanding something’ and ‘pwarrtyeme’ means ‘to shine’.
A highlight of the program will be the mesmerising illumination of a 300-million-year-old natural canvas – the majestic West MacDonnell Ranges. The event includes installations involving artists from the central desert region and a Festival of Knowledge Program, which aims to deepen visitors’ experience. Here, Arrernte Elders share their art knowledge and culture through a series of talks and events.