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Taxidermist, jewelry designer and artist Julia DeVille creates the type of wearable art rarely seen from other labels.

Focused on working as a full-time artist, her exhibition "Cineraria" currently on display at Sophie Gannon Gallery in Richmond, Melbourne, is how deVille sees herself in the future. “I’ll still create my jewelry, but I aim to have two assistants producing this for me, while I make larger works. My exhibition is entirely sculptural works using taxidermy and metalsmithing techniques.”

Relocating to Melbourne from her native New Zealand in 2001, DeVille initially tried her hand at shoe design, setting up the leather accessories label Abattoir before realizing it wasn’t her greatest interest. Upon meeting retired taxidermist Rudy Mineur, deVille began dabbling in the art form while obtaining a degree in advanced gold and silversmithing.

Combining her love of taxidermy with her love of jewelry, deVille created Disce Mori—Latin for learn to die—and has been turning heads ever since with its eccentric aesthetic and carefully constructed design.

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“I am producing work that I believe no one else is doing in the same scale and mediums; making fine jewelry pieces and artworks using taxidermy and jewelry techniques, and secondly, work that has a dialogue about both life and death,” says deVille. “By using symbols of mortality I hope that the viewer will contemplate their own mortal existence and, in turn, appreciate the significance of life.”

Using only animals that have died from natural causes, increasingly deVille finds that people who have encountered her work and recognize art in the afterlife donate the majority of her materials.

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“I have two Chinese crested dogs as pets and they will both become artworks when they die.” Proving she truly believes in what she does, deVille will practice what she preaches, sending her own body to the Institute for Plastination in Germany to become a sculpture.

Disce Mori is available from various specialty stores in New Zealand, Australia, Europe and the United States. For a full lists of stockists please visit the Julia deVille website.

More image after the jump.

Cineraria
Through 22 August 2009
2 Albert Street
Richmond VIC 3121
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+61 3 9421 0857

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