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A House Of Gothic Curiosities

Homes

Julia DeVille’s incredible jewellery and taxidermy artworks have  a very distinct style, and unsurprisingly, her house feels very much like an extension of her art practice!

Situated above her Collingwood studio and showroom, the jeweller and artist’s home is populated by her own thought-provoking artworks, treasured ephemera, an ever creeping devil’s ivy and her two dogs, Chilli and Scout.

There are just SO MANY details to pore over in this wunderkammer-inspired home! A true cabinet of curiosities.

15th August, 2018

Inside the Collingwood home of vegan jeweller and taxidermist Julia DeVille. The mantle displays jewellery by Julia, including two crucifixes and two chain mail purses, a taxidermy parrot alongside a Devil’s Ivy plant. Above is a photograph of her grandmother’s wedding. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

The front entrance from the internal courtyard, featuring chandelier from Gregory’s Antiques, stone greyhound sculptures and an iron birdcage. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

Julia’s by-appointment showroom. Antique table and chairs,  Antique Argentinian chair from Amor y Locura, display case for her jewellery and Adam Wallacavage octopus chandelier. Artworks include funerary wreath, framed pictures from antique books and Julia’s ‘Damocles: Raven’ (silver, black rhodium, black spinel, black diamonds and amethyst). Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

Julia’s living area, featuring an Antique Dutch light gifted by her parents, antique dining table and chairs, Camelot dog tent, 50kg amethyst, stag skull and some flourishing Devil’s Ivy. Artwork includes, ‘Actaeon: Fawn’ on the table in a cabinet, as well as pieces on the wall by (left to right): Lisa Skerrett, Katie Young, and Matt Martin. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

In the by-appointment showroom, sits ‘Majesty: adolescent deer’ (gold, silver, rubies, pearls, glass, and wood), above which hangs ‘Night’s Plutonian Shore: Raven’ (silver, amethyst, black garnet, cotton and glass). Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

Jeweller and taxidermist Julia DeVille. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

A cabinet displaying jewellery by Julia, alongside an antique door and door knocker from New Zealand. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

Dining table detail. Lisa Skerrett’s ‘The Sword in the Milestone’ collage hangs on the wall. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

Detail of ‘Actaeon: Fawn’ (sterling silver, smoky quartz, sparrow wings, chain mail, wood, and glass) on the table in a cabinet. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

Antique; marble top table, marble plinth, and chandelier, Amber apothecary jar and artwork ‘Pegasus: Clydesdale’ (sterling silver, gold, ostrich feathers and glass). Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

Julia’s workbench with a collection of items, including a photograph of her Oma (grandmother) and her ex-husband’s ponytail. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

Workshop details. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

Pavé Raven Necklace Diamond (sterling silver, black rhodium, 18-carat white gold, 3.4 carats of black diamonds, 8.75 carats of diamonds) inside antique French jewel box. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

A collection of beads and materials on Julia’s workbench. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

The benches where Julia and her jewellers work. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

At work in the studio. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

Some of Julia’s personal jewellery collection: Pavé Raven Necklace, Claw Bangle and Black Garnet Rosary Fob atop Argentinian marble top dresser from Amor y Locura, and beside a photograph of her Nanna Elvie. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

Curtain designed by Julia and made by Melinda Francis (with human hair tassel!), linen from In Bed, antique bedside table from Tarlo & Graham, Antique Art Deco lamp, art photograph on the wall by Rafaela Pandolfini, Martin Margiela leather gloves, and antique metal bed head from Amor y Locura. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

‘Night’s Plutonian Shore: Raven’ (silver, amethyst, black garnet, cotton and glass). Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

Lucy Feagins
Wednesday 15th August 2018

‘I have always been a collector of beautiful things.’ – Julia DeVille.

There is a line in the book Where the Wild Things Are that reads ‘and the wild things roared their terrible roars and gnashed their terrible teeth and rolled their terrible eyes and showed their terrible claws.’ Of course, once the character Max gets to know them, the wild things aren’t scary at all.

Julia DeVille’s incredible Melbourne house has its own touch of the Wild Things about it. The home also functions as Julia’s studio and showroom, and ethically sourced taxidermy animals (Julia only works with creatures who have died of natural causes) hover and perch in every corner. She describes how ‘the space has gradually evolved over the years, especially as the devil’s ivy slowly turns my house into Max’s (from Where the Wild Things Are) bedroom’.

Julia purchased her Collingwood warehouse home 11 years ago, and quickly undertook major renovations before moving in. Downstairs is dedicated to her work, incorporating her jewellery workshop, showroom and an outdoor courtyard, whilst upstairs is her private apartment, incorporating kitchen, living space and master bedroom. The industrial and antique finishes throughout the house reflect her unique aesthetic, and the whole home radiates with a distinctly gothic character.

As a self-described work-a-holic, shifting her showroom out of the bedroom has created a sense of separation between work and home. ‘The physiological barrier of now living upstairs and working downstairs has actually helped me to overcome this trait…(somewhat),’ Julia explains.

To celebrate Linden New Art’s return to their original St Kilda premises, they will present a major solo exhibition of new work by Julia deVille, opening next week. Wholeness and the Implicit Order sees Julia working in the new mediums of holography and Virtual Reality (!) to create an immersive environment within the Victorian rooms of Linden New Art. Using these new technologies, Julia furthers her exploration into the interconnectedness of all things, and the importance of treating all life with respect.

At home, Julia characterises her interiors aesthetic as organic and evolving, based on having ‘always been a collector of beautiful things’. ‘I often buy a piece of furniture I don’t have room for because I love it right then, and I just made it fit somehow… although I’m basically at my limit now’ she admits. (What an enviable quandary to be in!)

Julia’s most treasured pieces are her Adam Wallacavage octopus chandelier with looping tentacles, and her own taxidermy Clydesdale mount. Her location, tucked down a backstreet in vibrant Collingwood, is also beloved by the artist, who walks her dogs to the nearby Children’s Farm most days, while still remaining the perfect distance from the city and surrounded by friends.

It’s been an intensely busy year for Julia, and this house, studio and showroom have been a buzzing hive of activity in the lead up to her her upcoming show, Wholeness and Implicit Order. This will be Julia’s largest exhibition to date, and after seeing a few sneak peeks during our visit, we can only imagine how powerful it will be!

Wholeness and the Implicit Order by Julia DeVille
August 25th to November 4th
Linden New Art
26 Acland Street
St Kilda, Victoria

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The Design Files acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

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