Julia deVille channels the black pageantry of the Victorian age in her Adelaide Biennial installation PHANTASMAGORIA. Her menagerie features her signature taxidermy of ethically-sourced animals, including kittens, fawns, piglets and bunnies – the star attractions of picture books from the Victorian period.
Presented as a child’s bedroom from the Victorian age, deVille’s installation can also be read as a self-portrait. As the artists herself recalls: “…as a child of three or four years, taxidermy and death interested me. I remember sitting in a wardrobe with my grandmother’s fox stoles with their heads, feet and tails. I felt they could come to life when I wasn’t watching”.
The Victorian period is unequalled for its black pageantry. Love and death were intimately entwined in an age where childhood was brief, often not survived, followed by marriage around twenty and death by forty.Robert Reasons