Trade & Transformation

Solo Exhibition Blak Dot Gallery 2018

Trade beads or slave beads were used globally by European colonists as a mechanism for the exploitation of labour and goods. Glass beads and other imported materials were also used historically by missionaries and merchant traders for building rapport with indigenous people across Papua New Guinea. Through her solo exhibition, artist Lisa Hilli explores the impacts and transformative effect that trade beads had upon her own people the Tolai / Gunantuna, during a precarious and hostile era of the late 1800’s and how materiality became a language, which was understood and valued by all.

Media & Reviews

Dress Code Review – Artlink, Ann Finegan

Exhibition & Artist interview – Blak Dot Gallery

Selected Artworks Exhibited

2021-2022 Observance Buxton Contemporary

2019 Capital Ballarat Foto Biennale

2018 Dress Code Museum of Brisbane

2018 Solo show Blak Dot Gallery


Collective of labourer’s & beaders: 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.

Thank you to Kimba Thompson, Blak Dot Gallery and 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.