Dr. Lily Hibberd

Lily Hibberd is an interdisciplinary artist, curator and writer working on frontiers of time and memory. She is ARC DECRA Research Fellow at National Institute for Experimental Arts at UNSW Art & Design, a fellowship supporting collaborative new media research with Parragirls. She holds a PhD in Fine Art from Monash University. She is founding editor of the bi-annual art writing publication un Magazine and is known equally for her practice as both an artist and critical writer.
Lily co-founded Parragirls Memory Project with Bonney Djuric in 2012. As memory project Creative Director (2012-18) she has co-authored numerous major artworks, exhibitions, articles and small publications with Parragirls and other project collaborators. In 2016-17, she co-created Parragirls Past, Present with Parragirls and media artists Volker Kuchelmeister and Alex Davies.
Lily has exhibited in major institutions and festivals across Australia and Europe. Other recent projects include Data Horizons for Edinburgh Science Festival (2017, multimedia installation); The Public Secret (2017, immersive video installation); The Phone Booth Project with Curtis Taylor (2012-2017, immersive video installation); First Light for the UNESCO International Year of Light at Musée des arts et métiers, Paris; β Persei in partnership with l'Observatoire de Paris at Galerie de Roussan, Paris (2015, multimedia installation).


Parragirls Past, Present: unlocking memories of institutional ‘care’ is a deeply moving immersive encounter with former residents’ visions of Parramatta Girls Home, a punitive Australian child welfare institution closed in 1974. Like Alice down the rabbit hole, Parragirls' living memories unlock inexplicable and invisible realms of institutional 'care' as well as their hopes for a better future.

This presentation examines the challenges and innovations required to create a mediated representation of traumatic experience in collaboration with survivors of child institutionalization. It offers insight into the unique discoveries and solutions we found through working intimately on this project for more than one year with five Parragirls—artists and former residents of Parramatta Girls Home. 

Parragirls have been disbelieved and marginalized all their lives. But this work is not ‘about’ former residents of Parramatta Girls Home; Parragirls initiated and co-authored the work's key concepts, script and visual and acoustic design with Lily, Volker and Alex. Together, we generated new approaches to the project's temporal configuration, narrative order and psychological impact via novel passages through the 3D landscape, unusual timing and rendering, aesthetics and spatialization effects, as well as the acoustic dimensions of this project. 

Most importantly, Parragirls Past, Present empowers Parragirls for the first time as creators and authorities on institutional experience and the translation of traumatic memory into immersive digital media forms. This presentation includes discussion of the impact of such a project on justice for and wellbeing of trauma survivors—to query questions of 'social good' that permeate the discourse of VR and immersive technology industries today.