Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Styling – Sofi Donuts.
Make Up – Becky Rule.
Make Up – Becky Rule.
I understand you started out studying jewellery. Can you explain the metamorphosis of your work from jewellery to the amalgamation of taxidermy and art?
Well, I actually started studying the two skills at the same time, so straight away I was making brooches out of little mice and birds. My work has just slowly grown larger and now my taxidermy pieces are generally not wearable (but they do wear jewellery).
Can you explain what motivates your work? Is this a passion, a job or the ultimate the marriage of both?
Obsession... It is what I am meant to do and I am lucky to have found that so early in life. There is nothing else I could do or want to do. Sometimes it nearly kills me because I work too hard but I choose it so I can't complain...
Whilst you are both a Vegetarian and an Animal Rights Activist, do you often cop flack and criticism for the art you produce?
I have had about four hate mail letters in nearly 10 years. All from very young people, with good intentions... just bad research skills!
I always reply and politely explain my position and generally offer some people that deserve to have nasty letters written (they have all been very aggressive and angry and often said they wish I would end up as a rug etc etc which I find ironic if they value life as much as they say they do...). One of them apologised and the rest did not reply.
Where do you source the animals and animal parts you use in your work?
I find a lot of things myself and then I take donations from friends and fans that know I only use animals that have dies of natural causes. I also have some farmer contacts that give me stillborns etc.
How do you address the ethical or moral implications in dealing with your work?
Mostly vocally... I guess my beliefs come through me talking about my work which comes from generating enough interest to be interviewed etc. My next exhibition will have a much stronger animal rights theme, which will be recognisable from looking at the work as opposed to a dialogue with myself being necessary.
What inspires your work?
Life, death, nature, the Victorians, history, love, religion, spirituality.
What do you love most about your work?
When I get to make sculptures for a new exhibition. These works are never made with the intention of sales (in fact, I often find it hard to part with them when they do sell).... unlike my jewellery line where that is a compulsory factor in creation.
They are total in their aesthetic without the compromise of how to fit on the body or how to keep the cost down. I just create until they are finished and I love them.
How long does it generally take to create some of your pieces, particularly the larger ones like the baby deers with the saddle?
Very hard to say. I make them over months and months and generally have up to three people here in my studio working on them with me. In terms of solid days work, maybe up to a week for the deer with the saddle.
Have you had much opportunity to show your work overseas and if so, how was it received?
I have shown in New York, London, Paris, Hong Kong and I currently have work in Strychnin gallery in Berlin. It has always been received well but it took me about three years of exhibiting in Australia before I really started to sell a lot of (sculptural) work and I think the same goes for overseas. It just takes time for people to get used to the idea of my work.
Once you finish a piece, where do they end up? Is there some creepy DeVille Musuem in your house or are they often sold or placed in galleries?
My studio is definitely a creepy museum for the pieces I cannot part with (or the ones I fucked up). I also sell through my gallery - Sophie Gannon Gallery, to art collectors.
Who are some of the artists you personally admire?
Ray Caesar, Nick Cave, Craola Simkins, Patricia Piccinini, Maskull Lasserre
Is there any artist out there that you would like to collaborate with in the future?
I am collaborating with Leslie Rice this year which I am very excited about: http://www.janmurphygallery.com.au/artists.php?aid=93
When your not playing with jewellery and dead things what are we likely to find you doing?
Yoga or walking my dogs with my partner Dhali. I try to keep it pretty simple to balance out the massive amounts of work I always have to do.
What are we likely to see from Julia deVille in the future?
Larger works with a stronger animals rights them.