Julia deVille
Artist Statement

I am an Australian citizen living in Melbourne, originally from New Zealand and known Nationally and Internationally for my contemporary art and craft practice. My work is highly profiled and recognisable for its distinctive combination of taxidermy and jewellery as well as its strong animal rights themes.

I am fascinated with the aesthetic used to communicate mortality in the Memento Mori period of the fifteenth to eighteenth centuries, as well as the methods the Victorians used to sentimentalise death with adornment.

I work in traditional gold and silversmithing techniques, combined with materials that were once living such as jet, a petrified wood historically used in Victorian Mourning jewellery, human hair and most importantly, taxidermy. I use these materials as a Memento Mori, or reminder of our mortality.

My work ranges from one-off jewellery pieces using taxidermy animals, to taxidermy animal sculptures that are adorned with jewellery materials and techniques.

I incorporate the symbols of death throughout my work because I think it is important to identify with the concept that we are mortal creatures. I believe if we can accept our own mortality, we can in turn appreciate the significance of life.

As a strict vegetarian, I consider my taxidermy to be a celebration of life, a preservation of something beautiful. I feel strongly about the fair and just treatment of animals and to accentuate this point I use only animals that have died of natural causes.



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