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


Artists are invited to participate in Parrtjima – A Festival in Light 2021 by entering artworks, sculptures, photography, animation, multi-media, poetry, written word, spoken word, music, dance or film submissions for inclusion in one of the festival’s lighting installations or the festival program (which encompasses music of all genres, films, discussions, ideas, workshops
and talks).


Parrtjima is the meeting place where old meets new. It is the only authentic Aboriginal light festival of its kind, showcasing the oldest continuous culture on earth through the newest technology. Each year this free event celebrates the ways in which artists evolve and experiment with different styles and materials, while staying true to Country and culture.

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. Our cultural guides help to create Parrtjima. Together they invite artists and visitors to come and experience Parrtjima, to gain a deeper understanding of, and connection to country and culture.

Parrtjima festival, Alice Springs, Australia. 5/4/2019. Images courtesy Parrtjima / NTMEC

2021 Theme: Cultivating Culture for the next Tradition Bearers  

In the spirit of knowledge sharing and cultural evolution, Parrtjima is establishing opportunities for younger generations in 2021. We want to give visibility and voice to the next generation of creators, networkers, curators and imaginators whose inherited birthright carries the same spirit, continuing the legacy of unbroken culture of the custodians who have cherished it since time immemorial. We want to celebrate intergeneration exchanges, of two-way teaching, from old to young and young to old. Hand in hand. Side by side.

Parrtjima’s roots, grown over the past 5 years, provides a platform to express culture in new ways.  Ways that are meaningful to young people and to which they relate in the 21st century.  This may be depicted through art, but also through words, music, dance and film – using innovative forms of expression and modern technologies.

For the 2021 festival, Parrtjima will be curating a selection of Artists who reflect the next generation of tradition bearers and collaborations between artists that represent intergenerational exchange. With assistance from the Parrtjima team, partnerships between different generations of artists may be cultivated through the creative program, to enable knowledge sharing and cultural evolution.  


Artists may submit individually, or in connection with an Art Centre. Please complete the submission form attached for your work to be considered for inclusion in the festival.

If you need any assistance completing your submission, or have any questions, you can reach out to our team for more information via [email protected] or

on 02 8302 3800


If selected

  • Parrtjima’s curators, First Nation’s Advisor and Creative Producers will work with you to incorporate your work as part of the light-art installations which will be a focal point of the festival. A licensing fee will be offered for the use of the work – you will continue to retain ownership of your original work; or
  • If you have a portfolio of animation, digital photography or multi-media work which would lend itself to a digital realisation, our First Nation’s Advisor and Digital team will be in touch about how you could best be involved in the Festival; or
  • If your work fits better in another part of the festival program, the First Nation’s Advisor and Programming team will discuss the opportunities to incorporate into the program.


  • Parrtjima is a fully curated experience, therefore not all submissions will be selected for inclusion (the curating team will review and select the submissions; the Parrtjima Festival Reference Group will provide cultural advice and guidance).
  • If selected, artworks / submissions will be shown, or may be projected directly onto country, in Mparntwe (Alice Springs) – please only submit work that are culturally acceptable to be displayed in this way by the artists and their family.
  • If selected, some artwork / submissions may be used in part only, i.e. specific elements within your artwork.
  • All pieces submitted for consideration must be culturally appropriate.
  • All pieces submitted for consideration must be suitable for General Exhibition i.e. for anyone to watch, including children without supervision.
  • All artists submitting work must acknowledge that artworks may be slightly adapted or animated throughout the creative process. The curatorial team will keep artists involved in this process, with our first nations team available to talk through and assist with your application and questions.


05 August 2020:

EOI Start Date

21 September 2020: 

EOI Finish Date

21 Sep – 23 Nov 2020:

Successful notifications, contracting & creative development period commences

23 November 2020: 

Contracting completion deadline

Dates TBA – April 2021:

Display in Parrtjima 2021 Festival


Download and complete our submission form.

Examples of previous installations created for Parrtjima

Each year, Parrtjima showcases a selection of artworks to feature in Grounded, a projection piece directly onto country. Artworks of a flat 2D nature are more suitable for the
Grounded projection than landscape or
figurative works with perspective, as they are brought to life with animation.

Artist: Ruth Fatt – Ninuku Arts
In 2019, ‘The Language of Stockmen’ was a collaborative installation joined with Tapatjatjaka Art Centre, local artists Johnny Young and David Wallace and with contributions from young artists from the Arts Centre. Based on original miniature horse sculptures, the piece was magnified in
scale and recreated based on the original work by specialised steel workers and the artists utilising recycled materials

Artist: Johnny Young and David Wallace –
Tapatjatjaka Art Centre

Examples of other light-art installations created through Parrtjima in previous years can be found at www.parrtjimaaustralia.com.au/past-festivals


Parrtjima respectfully acknowledges the past and present traditional owners, custodians and ancestors of Mparntwe (Alice Springs area) and surrounding estates Antulye (Undoolya) and Irlpme (Bond Springs). The festival is grateful to be advised by the Parrtjima Festival Reference Group and significant Arrernte people, who hold rights and responsibilities for the area, and are an asset to the team as our cultural guides.