Social Conditioner is an on-going photographic series that Hilli began in 2015. The aesthetic and conceptual underpinnings of these images explore issues such as the black / Melanesian female body, Pacific diaspora experience and cross cultural identity. The first images in this series looked at the psychological impacts of social norms and labels that dictate to certain beauty aesthetics upheld in Western societies and the ramifications of mono-cultural social conditioning upon those who don’t fit into the cultural norm.
Within this series, Hilli looks more closely at her own Papua New Guinean identity, women’s craft and the re-claiming of gendered practices pertaining to womens ceremonies in particular, Tolai women’s historical body and hair adornment and the revival of tattoo practices of Papua New Guinean women, undertaken by fellow Papua New Guinea artist Julia Mage’au Gray.
Australian Tapestry Workshop, Melbourne 2016
Artbank, Sydney 2016