By ERWIN CHLANDA
Parrtyeme – a Festival in Light – will be Australia’s biggest-ever light show installation, with more than 2.5km of the MacDonnell Ranges being illuminated, Chief Minister Adam Giles announced at the Desert Park this morning.
“It will be the first authentic Indigenous light festival of its kind in the world,” he said.
“Parrtyeme will be a breathtaking light display that will present the oldest continuous culture on earth through the newest technology on a 300-million-year-old natural canvas.”
The project has been controversial, with claims that traditional owners have not been consulted – Mr Giles said this morning they had been.
Three Aboriginal people spoke at the function this: Mervyn Rubuntja (pictured above) gave probably the briefest welcome to country: “I am happy for you all to come. Thank You.”
A featured installation will be a series of large illuminated 1950s-style circle skirts featuring the watercolour artwork of Lenie Namatjira, granddaughter of Albert Namatjira (Mrs Namatjira is pictured at right with translator Marisa Maher).
Mrs Namatjira spoke in Arrernte about her art at the launch, translated by Marisa Maher.
The show will be held from September 23 to October 2, at a cost of between $1.5m and $2m, according to Mr Giles.