Parrtjima – A Festival in Light has been shining the spotlight on Mparntwe, Alice Springs, since Friday, with opening weekend attracting 8805 attendances.

Friday saw the event’s biggest Opening Night ever, with more than 4000 attendances.

Highlights of opening weekend included a vibrant performance by surf-rock band King Stingray, the East Arnhem group everyone is talking about, the funk and soul sounds of Emma Donovan and The Putbacks, and up-and-coming stars Ray Ray McKenzie and Tilly Tjala Thomas.

Workshops were full, with keen visitors learning about pottery from the acclaimed Hermannsburg Potters, screen printing from the funky House of Darwin, and seed jewellery making from the talented Ikuntji Artists.

All this is taking place against the stunning backdrop of the MacDonnell Ranges lightshow and the large-scale light installations developed from the work of Aboriginal artists.

The program over the next few days includes workshops on watercolours, dance and earring painting, sand drawing and boomerang demonstrations, and panel talks with a range of Aboriginal artists, performers and experts. Spaces for the talks are available on the door.

Speaking ahead of opening night, Director of Cultural Engagement for Parrtjima, Paul Ah Chee, said this year’s theme is ‘Sky Country’, and will tell the story of sky, air and wind.

Paul Ah Chee

Parrtjima is a free 10-night festival of Aboriginal culture in the heart of the country. It ends on 17 April 2022.