ince early 2006 we have been the principal designers for Ngapartji Ngapartji, a long-term inter-generational arts project based in Alice Springs. An initiative of Big hART, this multi-faceted project includes an online Pitjantjatjara language course where young people and their families become language tutors for the national and international audiences of the Ngapartji Ngapartji theatre production. The touring theatre piece, based on the life of Spinifex man Trevor Jamieson, has so far attracted critical acclaim at the Melbourne International Arts Festival, the Perth International Arts Festival and the Sydney Opera House.

Our design work to date has included logo and visual identity, the Ngapartji Ngapartji website, the self-contained Ninti Ngapartji language and culture website, foyer posters for the Sydney Opera House and a swathe of theatre programs. At the moment we are producing a series of maps and downloadable resources for the project.
theatre program (front cover)

ith the Pitjantjatjara concept of reciprocity and exchange, ngapartji ngapartji ('I give you something, you give me something') at the heart of this project, we were keen to directly involve the participants and community in the construction of its online presence.


o do this, we travelled to Alice Springs to run a series of workshops in which participants made collages and drawings representing their experiences of the project. These images then fed directly into the web graphics we produced for the site.

Makeshift is always interested in exploring new models of collaborative production and cultural exchange (see Karl’s honours thesis on this topic), which is why we’ve found this project so inspiring.