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Listening with Heart

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Parrtjima shone an important light on Aboriginal art, culture and country using modern technology in 2023.

Part of an immersive experience never before presented, Parrtjima featured one, large-scale light and sound installation in the red soil of Mparntwe (Alice Springs), on Arrernte country.

The 2023 installation showcased the talent of Maruku artist Rene Kulitja, who along with a group of artists from Mutitjulu (near Uluru), created the artwork that frames the powerful Statement from the Heart.

Gently guided by the soundscapes of Kuniya (the python woman) story, visitors were invited to walk in the footprints of the artwork, and experience a light-scape based on the story of the Mala people.

The Mala story was symbolised by Wallaby footprints, which formed a pathway stretching from one end of the installation to the other. Three-metre high structures, lined the main path for visitors and gave a through-line of sight.

The Kuniya and Mala stories wound through the installation with three large glowing eggs representing their heads breaking the surface.

There were a series of story paths overlayed on to a patchwork of shapes using ground-based lighting techniques. These represented Country and seasonal shifts.

Interspersed throughout the installation was a series of concentric circles, to symbolise waterholes. These structures gave the installation true scale and beauty as they appeared to float above the surface at night.

The signature installation was a true representation of Country. One that highlighted the colours of ancestral landscapes – Puli Tjuta–Rock country (brown, dark purple), Punu Tjuta–living Wood country (light purple), Tjanpi Tjuta–grass country (yellow), Salt Lake Country tali sand dunes country (pink),

The Arrernte estates of Mparntwe (Alice Springs) and members of the Parrtjima Festival Reference Group (PFRG) invited acclaimed artist Rene Kulitja to take part in Parrtjima.