The Torrens riverbank in Adelaide will light up with ancient Aboriginal stories throughout next year’s Adelaide Fringe.
Reeds, grasslands and paths will be illuminated in Yabarra: Gathering of Light, bringing to life native animals and storytelling through interactive installations adjacent to the University of Adelaide at Karrawirra Parri river bend, organisers said.
The project is set to be a centrepiece of the festival which runs from February 15 to March 17.
Karl Telfer, a senior Kaurna custodian of ceremony and co-artistic director of Adelaide-based dance and culture group Yellaka, is producing cultural content for the project.
“We have been here from the first sunrise, and light creates life,” Mr Telfer said. “The river holds great cultural meaning of time and how it comes to life.”
“Karrawirra Parri flowed in relationship to the natural cycles and movements of the seasons, land, sea, sky and country. The interconnectedness of water, wind, plant, fire, bird, star, animal, fish and people all moved within it.”
“The riverbank trail will offer interactive points to share the knowledge of the seasons through a changing sensory experience that creates ways of understanding this place – how the stars, clouds, winds, seas, burning off and waters change over the years.”
Adelaide Fringe director and chief executive officer Heather Croall said the free walking adventure would be the Fringe’s signature project to help attract more people to the Adelaide CBD.
Ms Croall said Adelaide Fringe’s digital projections along North Terrace in previous years had attracted hundreds of thousands of people.
“In 2019 we’re taking this to a whole new level at an exciting new location,” she said.
“Kangaroos, platypuses and bilbies will share the banks of the Karrawirra Parri (River Torrens), native birds will appear in trees, fish will leap from the river and stories of time will be shared.”
“It’s going to be a cultural and visual spectacular – I can’t wait to see it all come to life!”
The Adelaide Fringe Opening Night celebrations will be held along the riverbank and will include Tindo Utpurndee: Sunset Ceremony.
By Wendy Caccetta