Working as the Creative Directors and Producers of the 2021 Parrtjima Festival, AGB Events, produced and delivered a travelling installation on The Ghan for NT Tourism.
Friday, 9 April 2021 marked the official opening night, however the celebrations actually began earlier in the week, with the iconic locomotive The Ghan – a 900-metre luxury train that travels the 2,797km stretch between Darwin and Adelaide.
Three of the train’s carriages were wrapped in Aboriginal artist Chantelle Mulladad’s work Crossroads. Crossroads was used in the external and internal dressing of The Ghan carriages, and features in the Merging Kultcha installation at Parrtjima.
Turning a whole carriage into a travelling Parrtjima light installation, AGB Events utilised digital imagery from the 2019 Ranges Show, a light and sound spectacular projected onto 2km of the MacDonnell Ranges. This was projected onto a wall the entire width of the Ghan carriage measuring 2.7 metres by 1.6 metres high with interior printed graphics measuring 16.7 by 17.15 metres each side, and was enriched by an epic musical composition and narration. The 10-minute show included a welcome from AGB First Nation’s Advisor and Parrtjima Curator, Rhoda Robert AO and was narrated by Australian Actor Aaron Pederson and Benedict Kngwarraye Stevens. The lighting designer was Richard Neville and was supplied by MPH Australia and Mandylights. Musical composition and sound design was delivered by Damian Robinson and supplied by the Central Australia Aboriginal Media Association (CAAMA).
AGB Events worked with technical partner Novatech based in Adelaide, South Australia who delivered the entire projection and control system including FujiFilm Z5000 HD projector and 2.7 by 1,6 metre screen covering the width of the carriage. RGB DMX controllable lighting and L-Acoustics audio system immersed viewers, set the mood and added dramatic effect. The entire system is programmed and operated using QLab control system. All audio-visual and lighting was programmed and monitored from Novatech’s Adelaide operations.
The installation was tied closely with the Merging Kultcha installation at Desert Park, which also features Chantelle Mulladad’s artwork on five illuminated camels, each over three metres high, using a mosaic of coloured glass for a stained-glass window effect. It symbolises the inter-connected history between the Arrente people and late Afghan cameleers.
Parrtjima – A Festival in Light, is delivered by the Northern Territory Major Events Company on behalf of the Northern Territory Government. It is a free 10-night festival showcasing the oldest continuous culture on Earth through the newest technology – all on the 300-million-year-old natural canvas of the MacDonnell Ranges.
The only authentic Aboriginal light festival of its kind, Parrtjima connects visitors to Country with new artworks, light shows, performances, workshops, live music, films and talks introduced each year.