Sunday, November 2, 2008

Jewellery and Taxidermy

Ossuarium - a container or receptacle for holding the bones of the dead.

Yesterday I had the opportunity to experience the work of Julia deVille for the first time and I was truly mesmerised.

The pieces on display in her current exhibition at Craft Vic are beautiful. Despite signs warning of the presence of human remains and the possibility of offense, I felt in no way confronted by the works, merely swept away by their exquisite, glamorous details and the artist's obvious respect for the fragility and preciousness of life.

To let her explain in her own words...
"My jewellery is inspired by the memento mori jewellery of the fifteenth to eighteenth centuries and Victorian mourning jewellery. I find the acceptance of death in these periods fascinating. I work predominantly in jet, a petrified wood historically used in Victorian mourning jewellery, recycled components and taxidermy, designed to serve as memento mori, or reminder of our mortality. I use the symbols of death throughout my work because I think it is important to identify with the concept that we are in fact mortal creatures. The nature of our culture is to obsess over planning the future, however in doing so, we forget to enjoy the present.Through taxidermy I challenge my audience to reassess the way our society views the uses of animals for art and fashion. I use only creatures that have died of natural causes to accentuate this point." Julia deVille
Julia has a fantastic website and you can see more images of her work here too. But if you are anywhere near Melbourne in the near future then I really recommend you see her work "in the flesh"!

Julia deVille: Ossuarium is on at Craft Victoria until 29 November.

1 comment:

Wen said...

Thanks Sophie for highlighting this exhibition, Em and I went to see it on Saturday and loved it. I recommend this show to anyone.