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