Uti talaigu | Welcome

Lisa Hilli is a contemporary artist living in Narrm (Melbourne). Through her practice she prioritises indigenous knowledge and matrilineal systems to subvert colonial and Western histories contained within ethnographic and archival material. The representation of the black  female body and the politics of hair are ongoing themes that allow her to explore, combine and disrupt the confines of photographic and textile practices. Through gender discourses she often portrays the theme of visibility and invisibility through landscape and social environments.

Media Res_LHilli 1
Photographer Atong Atem
©Lisa Hilli 2018 All Rights Reserved

Current Projects & Exhibitions

Transits & Returns | Vancouver Art Gallery

Installation view of Sisterhood Lifeline. Image Markus Ravik

Sisterhood Lifeline explores the visibility and invisibility of black women’s bodies, voices and identities  in Western cultural institutions. A creative response to institutional racism, Lisa’s most recent body of photographic work and audio installation portrays how women and queer identifying people survive and thrive in culturally and psychologically challenging spaces.  This work was lovingly supported and curated by Léuli Eshraghi and was commissioned for the co-curated group exhibition The Commute, Institute of Modern Art 2018.

Transit & Returns curated by Sarah Biscarra Dilley, Freja Carmichael, Léuli Eshraghi, Tarah Hogue, Lana Lopesi

Vancouver Art Gallery

28th September 2019 – January 26th 2020

A Tinata Tuna exhibition text by Lisa Hilli and Léuli Eshraghi – pdf

Capital | Ballarat International Foto Biennale

Trade and Transformation. Lisa Hilli
Detail of Two women facing the future, Duke of York Islands. (Where the First Missionary landed and first mission, Port Hunter, c.1882). 1000 mm x 733 mm, pigment print on cotton rag, glass beads, cotton thread. 2018. Photographer Reverend R. H. Rickard. 

Trade beads or slave beads, were used globally by European colonists as a mechanism for the exploitation of labour and goods, they were also used by missionaries for building rapport with indigenous people of the land. Artist Lisa Hilli explores the impacts and transformative effect that trade beads had upon her own people the Gunantuna (Tolai), during a precarious and hostile era of the late 1800’s and how materiality became a language, which was understood and valued by all.  For Capital, Lisa will present photographic work taken from her 2018 solo exhibition Trade & Transfomation

Capital is curated by Naomi Cass and Gareth Syvret

National Centre for Photography, Ballarat

23 August – 20 October 2019

Video produced by Blak Dot Gallery

HIAP | Helsinki International Artist Residency Program

Detail of Brazilian Lace, Rauma Lace Festival, Finland 2019

Lisa is currently artist in residence from 03 June – 29th August on Suomenlinna | Sveaborg. You can see what she’s up to on her Instagram profile here.

More information can be found on the HIAP website.

Interview for HIAP blog – Lisa Hilli Knitting in Finland

This residency is supported by the Australia Council for the Arts.


Selected Exhibitions


Dress Code Museum of Brisbane

The Commute Institute of Modern Art Brisbane

Mother Tongue Gertrude Contemporary Melbourne

Melbourne Art Fair presented by Blak Dot Gallery

Trade & Transformation solo exhibition, Blak Dot Gallery


An Unorthodox Flow of Images Centre for Contemporary Photography

A Bit Na Ta: Story of the Gunantuna Melbourne Museum


No 1 Neighbour:  Art in Papua New Guinea 1966-2016 Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art

Fifty Shades of Blak Blak Dot Gallery

Solomon Islands: Re-enchantment and the Colonial Shadow Anthropology Museum, University of Queensland

Weaving Worlds Australian Tapestry Workshop


Vai Niu Wai Niu Coconut Water Caboolture Regional Art Gallery

Embodied Spaces Framer Framed, Tolhuistuin, Amsterdam

Where We’re At! Other voices on gender Bozar, Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels


Meleponi Pasifika Indonesian Contemporary Arts Network, Yogyakarta

Meleponi Pasifika Contemporary Festival of Pacific Arts, Footscray


2016 Best Use of Natural Light, CCP Salon, Centre for Contemporary Photography

2016 Best Visual Arts – Melbourne Fringe Festival, Fifty Shades of Blak participating artist

2016 Museums Victoria 1854 Scholarship

Artist Residencies

2019 Helsinki International Artist Program – Australia Council Artist in Residence

2018 Testing Grounds, Melbourne

2015 Australian Tapestry Workshop

2008 University of Goroka, Papua New Guinea


2016 Masters of Fine Art by Research RMIT University

2008 Bachelor of Fine Arts RMIT University