Ravens wearing marcasite-encrusted silver sparrow skulls, a kitten-drawn funerary cart, three stillborn fawns, a diamond-and gold-adorned gosling and a full ostrich skeleton. These are a few of the creatures that will feature in the new collection of sculptural works by Melbourne-based artist Julia deVille.
Known for the use of taxidermy in her works, deVille only uses animals that have died of natural causes, quite a few of them stillborn. Often these are found or brought in by people to use.
“The Golden Gosling was probably the most emotional piece I have ever made,” deVille relays. “A friend of a friend called me up and said she had to put down her six-month-old gosling, Peep. She came straight here after being at the vet and gave her to me. We were both very upset. As it was such a special gift I decided to really celebrate Peep's short life. I made rosary fabric out of 18-carat white gold and diamonds and draped it over her head.”
This is deVille’s second solo exhibition at Sophie Gannon Gallery, following her 2009 exhibition. She will also be curating an exhibition in the front gallery featuring mechanical dioramas by William Griffiths and a collaborative doe-like Cerberus by Aly Aitken and deVille.