JULIA deVILLE | …
YOU ARE A TAXIDERMIST, AS WELL AS A JEWELLER. TELL ME A LITTLE ABOUT HOW YOU BECAME ATTRACTED TO BOTH THESE MEDIUMS.
I wanted to learn Taxidermy since I was 16, but couldn't find a teacher. I moved to Melbourne (from Wellington) when I was 18 and studied shoe-making for a year. The course fell apart, and I happened to start studying jewellery at the same time I met my taxidermy mentor, Rudi.
WHERE DO YOU FIND YOUR INSPIRATION.? IS IT SOMETHING YOU SEEK, OR SOMETHING THAT FINDS YOU?
It finds me, I think. I am very inspired by life, death, nature and history. The right inspiration always comes to me at the right time (often at the weirdest times, like in the shower or in the middle of the night). I just have faith now that it is always there.
MEMENTO MORI SEEMS TO PLAY A SIGNIFICANT ROLE IN BOTH YOUR JEWELLERY AND TAXIDERMY PRACTICE. WHAT IS MOST STRIKING ABOUT THIS CONCEPT TO YOU?
I recycle the concepts, motifs and mottos found in Memento Mori in my own modern way. I like the idea of "remembering one's own mortality," but not in a god-fearing, prepare for your day of judgement kind of way. I think if we accept our mortality, we can then appreciate the significance of life. Although, I only believe in physical death. I think ultimately as consciousness we are eternal - so why fear death, or god?
CAN YOU TELL ME ABOUT ANY NEW PROJECTS YOU ARE WORKING ON?
I have a rather large exhibition coming up at the Linden Gallery in St Kilda, early 2018. I am working on a baby giraffe, a foal and some exciting new technology based works. That is all I will say for now!
IS THERE A HIGHLIGHT IN YOUR CAREER WHICH YOU CAN ISOLATE AS THE MOST SIGNIFICANT?
My exhibition, Degustation at the NGV in 2013 and Phantasmagoria for the 2014 Adelaide Biennal: Dark Heart at the Art Gallery of South Australia (AGSA)
ARE YOU READING ANYTHING OF INTEREST AT THE MOMENT?
I am reading "My Big Toe," by Thomas Campbell. It is his unified theory or Theory of Everything (TOE). It ties Newtonian physics in with quantum physics, metaphysics, religion and spirituality. He is a NASA physicist and out of body/consciousness researcher. It is blowing my mind apart in the best possible way!
YOU ARE VERY PASSIONATE ABOUT ANIMALS AND ETHICS. WOULD YOU SAY THAT YOUR TAXIDERMY PRACTICE, REFLECTS THIS TO AN EXTENT?
Yes, all of my taxidermy works are about celebrating the life and beauty of the animals I am presenting. I often do works with very strong animal rights themes, such as lambs presented on platters with ruby wounds.
THERE IS A VICTORIAN ROMANTICISM TO THE AESTHETIC OF YOUR JEWELLERY, WHICH I LOVE. DO YOU OWN MANY ANTIQUE PIECES OF JEWELLERY YOURSELF?
Yes, I collect Victorian jet pieces and hair-work. The Victorian era is my biggest aesthetic influence.
SUBMIT AN IMAGE YOU'VE RECENTLY CONNECTED WITH, AND EXPLAIN WHAT DREW YOU TO IT.
I couldn't decide between the two. One is a photo from NASA's instagram - Isn't creation beautiful beyond words! The other is a photo by Phoebe Rudomino. This took my breath away.