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Journal - Exhibitions

Bequeath by Julia deVille

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Exhibition dates: Monday 22nd October – Saturday 3rd November, 2012

Opening night: Tuesday 23rd October, 6pm – 8pm at e.g.etal

Julia’s work is characterised by the use of symbols and motifs from past eras. Her precious rings combine found settings from antique jewellery. Over several years, Julia has sourced antique jewellery and gemstones—their original owners long since deceased—waiting patiently for the right combination to form a new creation in her mind and then at her workbench. Through conceptual consideration and traditional and contemporary techniques she appropriates and reconfigures older pieces to form a new design.

Rings are a deeply personal form of adornment. Jewellery from the Victorian era, known for its carefully considered embellishment and bold use of gemstones, typifies the potential for beautiful objects to take on significant personal meaning. This is jewellery that traces romantic love and loss, climbing to the heights of devotion and flirting poetically with the depths of despair. The symmetry and order of the Victorian aesthetic is here transcended in the form of jewellery that combines settings and gems to create something that feels familiar but is post modern and intuitive in its approach to form and colour.

As the title of the exhibition implies, this work is about the potential for life to continue, even as we don’t. Each ring has the appearance of a collection of family heirlooms that have been melted gracefully into one piece. Julia herself says, “I’m constantly in awe of jewellery’s capacity to carry meaning beyond our own lives. For example, my mother is going to be turned into a diamond when she dies and I will make her into a ring for myself. Thus her life, in some form, continues…”

This will be Julia’s first solo jewellery exhibition in over five years. In the meantime she has been exhibiting her sculptural taxidermy work. This includes having pieces included in the collection at MONA, as well as her most recent solo exhibition, ‘Sarcophagus’, at Sophie Gannon Gallery in August 2012.

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