by Rebecca Harkins-Cross
For the Tin man and Scarecrow in all of us, Julie Parker's latest collection Black Jewls offers an exquisite range of anatomically-correct wearable human organs cast in solid sterling silver and strung on hand-finished chains. Packaged in glass test tubes with cork stoppers, the collection of bodily charms include hearts, brains, vertebrae, ribcages and livers.
By externalizing human internal organs, the Melbourne-based designer also highlights the physical and symbolic function they each perform, transforming them into objects of macabre beauty.
For example the livers "help detoxify our bodies of poisonous substances...like copious amounts of alcohol," brains "allow us to think what we think...and think we're getting smarter" and hearts "pump blood through our bodies...and make us fall in love."
Inspired by travel, tribes people, fantasy and roadkill, Parker has exhibited her work in several solo and group exhibitions throughout Melbourne since completing an advanced diploma in silversmithing and jewelery design in 2006.
Parker will customize any of the designs on consignment as rings, bracelets and cufflinks, as well as set with jewels such as rubies and sapphires. Prices start at A$175 and can be purchased online from the Black Jewls website, or in Melbourne at Wunderkamma, Corky Saint Clair and Martin Fella Vintage.