Cocktail Ring by Julia deVille
In the midst of exhibition-preparation-madness, I was invited to attend an intimate supper with renown Melbourne-based jeweller and taxidermist Julia deVille to celebrate the launch of her own exhibition, Can the voices of the living be heard by the dead. The presentation was hosted by iconic Melbourne jewellery gallery e.g.etal and comprised of a 60 piece collection of engagement and cocktail rings, necklaces and bracelets composed of multiple clusters of classic claw-held precious stones.
Works featured asymmetrical arrangements of diamonds (white, cognac & black), sapphires, emeralds and rubies combined with larger cushion cut lemon quartz, London blue topaz and garnets – to name a few – set in 18 carat gold draw upon motifs from Renaissance, Baroque and Victorian jewellery tradition.
Julia’s work is informed by the acceptance of death expressed in Memento Mori jewellery of the 15th to 18th centuries as well as Victorian Mourning jewellery. At the supper, Julia explained that it was her intention for the pieces in the collection to become heirlooms, passed down from generation to generation – a communion between the living and the dead.
It was an honour and a pleasure to be asked to attend the event, not only to have the opportunity to preview the show but to also have the opportunity to meet with a long admired and respected icon of mine.
Event images by Megan Harding Photography
As a student jeweller, the novelty of getting to have supper after hours at e.g.etal was probably something I enjoyed more than any other of the attendees that evening. Known for it’s passionate commitment to promoting locally designed and handmade jewellery, the gallery represents over 60 Australian and New Zealand artists and designers. e.g.etal seeks to promote the essence of contemporary jewellery: a practice defined by considered research, conceptual ingenuity and intrepid technical diligence. The gallery has been at the forefront of establishing Melbourne as the contemporary jewellery capital of Australia, and one of the most vibrant jewellery communities in the world.
Although the presentation Can the voices of the living be heard by the dead is now closed, many of the works have been entered into e.g.etal’s normal retail space and can be viewed during normal opening hours.