• Arrernte woman Chantelle Mulladad's design decks the side of The Ghan on its journey to Parrtjima light festival. (Supplied)Source: Supplied
The artwork compliments an immersive light show inside the train as well as an audiovisual show on language and Country narrated by Arrernte actor Aaron Pederson.
Dan Butler

7 Apr 2021 - 12:05 PM  UPDATED 7 Apr 2021 - 12:05 PM

The cross-country tourism train, The Ghan, is getting a deadly makeover.

Crossroads, an original design by Arrernte artist Chantelle Mulladad, will adorn the sides of The Ghan as it makes its journey from Darwin to the Red Centre.

Drawing on inspiration from Ltyentye Apurte, the remote community Ms Mulladad lives in 80kms south-east of Alice Springs, the work uses detailed patterns, vibrant colours and intricate shapes to convey her sense of Country.

Complementing Ms Mulladad's artwork is an immersive light installation in one of the train's carriages, in reference to The Ghan's destination, Parrtjima.

Begun in 2016, Parrtjima - A Festival in Light uses technology to bring the stories of the world's oldest continuing cultures to life. The festival showcases new artworks, and includes a program of performances, interactive workshops, music, films and talks.

Passengers travelling to the festival can also hear Arrernte man Aaron Pederson narrate a journey through his ancestral Country, describing the kinship system of his people and the unique beauty of the surrounding landscape in a show called ‘Angkentye Apmere-kenhe - The Language of Country".

Northern Territory Major Events Company CEO Tim Watsford said since the festival's beginning in 2016, it has become a major cultural event in the yearly calendar. 

“Parrtjima is the only authentic Aboriginal light festival of its kind, and we’re thrilled to be sharing
the awe-inspiring magic of this iconic event with even more people across Australia this year.”

- Parrtjima runs 9-18 April in Mparntwe.  

Parrtjima - A Festival of Light 2020 to light up Alice Springs
The 10-day cultural light festival launches this Friday night set against Central Australia’s beautiful backdrop of the ancient MacDonnell Ranges.