Dr. Billie Lythberg

About Dr. Billie Lythberg

Dr. Billie Lythberg is Contributing Editor for the Art of Oceania. Billie received her PhD in Art History from the University of Auckland (NZ), and completed post-doctoral research at Cambridge University Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (MAA,UK). She is currently Senior Research Fellow at the University of Auckland Business School and an Affiliated Researcher at MAA. Billie explores Indigenous economies and aesthetics and has collaborated with Māori and Pacific artists, academics and communities towards co-developed research, co-authored publications, co-curated exhibitions, and projects of artistic and economic revitalisation. She has a particular passion for eighteenth-century Māori and Tongan artefacts, and the economic and political objectives their transactions were harnessed to.

Michel Tuffery, Pisupo Lua Afe (Corned Beef 2000), 1994, flattened cans of corned beef (Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa Collection) ©Michael Tuffery
Tuffery’s “tinned bull” addresses concerns about ecological health and food sovereignty in the Pacific Islands.

Michel Tuffery, Pisupo Lua Afe

The Ambum Stone, c. 1500 B.C.E., greywacke, 
Ambum Valley, Enga Province, Papua New Guinea.
This intriguing artifact has a 3,500-year history. The latest chapter? A political debate over cultural heritage.

Ambum Stone