Trade Stories

Testing Grounds Artist In Residence 2018

In January 2018 I spent three weeks developing a new work on site at Testing Grounds in the City of Melbourne. Trade Stories was an invitation to listen and share the history of materials exchanged and traded between Pacific Islander and European people during the 19th Century.  As artist in residence, I requested ‘collective labour’ to thread a vast amount beads to develop a site responsive work.  I shared and retold historical tales of trade, economic exploitation, cultural change and the building of colonial empires embedded within these small items known historically as trade beads.

The outcome of this residency led to a solo exhibition Trade & Transformation at Blak Dot Gallery.


I wish to thank to Testing Grounds for supporting the development of this work during an artist residency called Trade Stories  in January 2018. A part of the research of this exhibition was supported by a Museums Victoria 1854 scholarship in 2016. This development of this exhibition could not have happened without the numerous support of a collective of labourer’s & beaders. My gracious thanks to; my mum Cathy Hilli, Léuli Eshraghi, Eddy Carroll, Pauline Vetuna, Kevin Murray, Kim Kruger, Savanna Kruger, Kalissa Alexeyeff, Travis Cox, Kirsten Lyttle, Aunty Lila Heimann, Tray Hudson, Gina Ropiha, Talava Tuhipa-Turner, Jacinta Crocker. A huge thank you to Kimba Thompson Blak Dot Gallery and Siteworks.