Lisa Hilli



"Fear and embarrassment were some of the varying emotions I experienced in regard to the texture and appearance of my hair as a child. Teasing out memories of my desire of wanting to fit in with the majority and have led me to believe that I had a fear of having an afro or what I like to term as an 'Afrophobia'. Reconstructed and fragmented, Afrophobia is an attempt to confront and disentangle these haunting and sometimes comical memories with an adult perspective."

'Afrophobia' by Lisa Hilli on Vimeo.


Lisa Hilli is a proud Papua New Guinean / Australian visual artist who explores and celebrates the complexities and issues of cross cultural identity through the use of video, sculpture and installation.  Inspired predominantly by her Papua New Guinean heritage, Lisa utilises her arts practice as a process to learn and gain knowledge about cultural histories, customs and maintain what she inherits by applying these traditions through a contemporary context.

Lisa Hilli graduated from RMIT University in 2007 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, majoring in media arts. Her multi layered video installation exhibition Just Like Home, which premiered during the Next Wave Festival 2008 was also part of Kultour's national touring program in 2010.  An aspect of this tour included a cultural exchange with Arnhem Land fibre artists based on Elcho Island, Northern Territory.  In 2008, Lisa spent several weeks as artist in residence at Goroka University, Papua New Guinea through the support of a professional development grant.

In 2011, Lisa was a participating filmmaker in Pacific Stories: a film project exploring Pacific identities in Melbourne 2011.  Currently Lisa is a co-facilitator and a founding member of the Pacific Women’s Weaving Circle (PWWC).  Most recently Lisa attended the 11th Festival of Pacific Arts, Solomon Islands 2012 to present a collaborative film titled Wea Nao Mi? As part of the Wantok Stori Project.  Whilst at the Festival of Pacific Arts, Lisa also delivered weaving workshops on behalf of PWWC to young women graduates of the Sistas Saave, a program aimed at improving the health, economic and social status of young women based in Honiara, Solomon Islands. 

Upcoming in 2013, Lisa will be one of several Pacific Artists who is programming the inaugural Contemporary Pacific Arts Festival, a partnership project between the Pacific Women’s Weaving Circle and Footscray Community Arts Centre, a first event for Melbourne.  Lisa has just recently been granted funding to co-facilitate an intergenerational filmmaking project, Story Weavers, aimed at Pacific Islander youth in Melbourne with Pacific Elders and cultural facilitators to create a collaborative film as a satellite project for the Festival.