Julia deVille: Additional Info

Process shot, giraffe, diamond bridle with pearl rosary, ear filigree, diamond dust eye scar and Akoya pearl rosary reins.

( To return to the main post on Julia deVille, click here. )

Published comments about her work

A representative comment on Facebook re the giraffe:

Lauryn Arnott: How sad, I feel sick to the stomach, after seeing this today in the Art Gallery, alongside a long description of the jewels including the artist’s wedding ring dripping over this corpse of this baby Giraffe. How decadent. Giraffes are now on the extinction list. What way to portray a beautiful animal that is about to be wiped off the planet….? on its knees with pinheads made of pearls and diamonds and cutesy little Bambi bows nailed into each hoof. I come from Africa and wonder how Australians would feel if this was an Australian animal. This is both painful and decadent. Where is our humanity…. what have we come to if this is art?

-commented on Julia deVille Studio Facebook 


A representative comment on Instagram re the giraffe

This is not normal or right. This is morally wrong and awful and disturbing. Truly heartbreaking and disturbing. You need help.

-comment from sober.vegan.raider.dance.mama on Julia deVille’s Instagram

Award, Review and Article Excerpts:

‘Dynamic social commentary’

“Julia’s works provoke a dynamic social commentary that juxtaposes the human preoccupation with youth and immortality against our inherent discomfort with death – announcement of deVille as one of 10 Sidney Myer Creative Fellows for 2017




‘Beautiful and grotesque’

Neapolitan Bonbonaparte

Judges of the Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize, which deVille won in 2016, described her work as “both beautiful and grotesque, which attracts whilst at the same time repels.”

Review from The Sydney Morning Herald: “This is the most woeful Waterhouse exhibition since the prize was initiated in 2002. The winning entry is a bit of a damp squib made by a New Zealand-born, Melbourne-based jeweller and taxidermist, Julia deVille. The piece is titled Neapolitan Bonbonaparte and consists of an antique sterling silver ladle in which sit three taxidermied chicks whose feathers have been dyed strawberry, chocolate and vanilla, the colours of Neapolitan ice cream. ”

De Ville said she used human hair dye to get the shade she wanted on the birds’ feathers. “Before I taxidermy the chicks I dye them first, then wash it out and blowdry them like a little salon, then do the taxidermy after that.”


A ‘kick in the gut’
The art of Julia deVille exists in the space between extremes. The power of deVille’s art lies in its simultaneous seduction and kick in the gut. It works on us in a visceral and primal way, reaching past taboos and politics to tug on our hearts, our desires and shock and cajole us out of complacency. Then it invites us to think.  –ArtWorld Interview



“Startling and Provocative”

A vegan, animal rights advocate, and trained taxidermist who only works with ethically sourced subjects (stillborn, donated or found dead), deVille endows these otherwise ‘disposable’ creatures with a glittering and privileged afterlife. Embellished with precious stones and the focus of a narrative that was never theirs, she envisages for them a new life where they are venerated and ‘treasured’, not discarded, abused, or eaten.  – The Johnston Collection (PDF here)

Return to the full Art Junkie post here.


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