Erna Lilje (PhD) is a post-doctoral Research Associate on the Pacific Presences project. Erna’s interest in Pacific collections has foundations in her own heritage and in research undertaken for her PhD thesis. As part of the Pacific Presences team she will continue to pursue the idea that there is much more that collections can tell us about the people who made and used the objects within them by bringing to bear a cross-disciplinary approach that encompasses present-day makers and cultural experts and a close examination of the artefacts themselves. She believes that the most quotidian objects can offer insights into the lives of those people least represented in historical sources, such as women and children. In part, Erna’s interest in the physicality of artefacts and the processes used to make them stems from her own, and continuing, engagement in the visual arts as an artist.
Selected bibliography & curated exhibitions
(2013) “Pulling Threads: fibre skirt research in the collections” in Bolton, L., Thomas, N., Bonshek, E., Adams, J. and Ben Burt, B. (ed.) Melanesia: Art and Encounter, The British Museum.
(2013) From maker to museum: fibre skirts from Central Province, Papua New Guinea, Ph.D. thesis, University of Sydney.
(2014) Books & Things: Collections for Pacific Studies, Rare Books and Special Collections Library, exhibition at the University of Sydney.