Thirty-five years ago a giraffe died at the Adelaide Zoo. Its body was kept in the freezer of the Queen Victoria Museum, Launceston, until it was acquired by Julia deVille five years ago. In Mother is my Monarch, all of the decorative components have been handcrafted by the artist using precious metals and gemstones. The vitrine, commissioned by deVille, was created by artist Kate Rohde.
deVille is trained as a jeweller and taxidermist who creates contemporary ‘memento mori’ that raise our curiosity through the use of paradoxical processes and materials. In doing so, she questions established societal paradigms around animals, asking why we divide them into arbitrary categories; food, pets, pests, transport, entertainment and endangered/protected species. The golden cloche handle on the giraffe’s back references human consumption and asks why we find it acceptable to eat some species and not others.