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The Creative Issue – News for Creatives | June 2, 2020

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Pompoms and Apologies: An Interview with Rachel Burke

Pompoms and Apologies: An Interview with Rachel Burke

| On 12, Feb 2016

“I’m a bit addicted to the idea that you have the infinite capacity to make things, its just about finding the time to do it,” says Rachel Burke, Brisbane-based artist and designer at i make. you wear it. “When I work, it’s unplanned and all at once- I might be like, ‘today I feel like making a crystal-covered shoe.’”

Rachel’s latest crafty endeavour is the project, Apomogy, an Instagram feed and soon-to-be exhibition that accompanies whimsical, brightly-coloured, hand-made pompoms with anonymous public apologies.
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“I like to find ways to express myself in situations where I feel uncomfortable, it started because I did a shitty thing and was like “I’m sorry,” while standing with a pompom, and it made my partner laugh- and suddenly I was off the hook,” says Rachel, who is known for her pompom-covered dresses and tights, her ombre frilled skirts and her generous use of glitter.

The apologies posted daily on Apomogy range from devastatingly heart-breaking to sweet and almost mundane, yet are always highly personal and sincere. “The pompom itself is not meant to trivialise the apology in any way, but it is interesting how it does soften it,” says Rachel.

Apomogy didn’t start long ago, but is has grown significantly with close to a thousand apologies being submitted via email. “I have hundreds now,” says Rachel, “and they are all slipping into themes. I can almost start to group these experiences. They are all really unique and personal but you can relate to them all.”

 

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The photographs of the pompoms and apologies are posted onto the Instagram feed @apomogy, which makes the project highly interactive. “People are using other’s apologies to link in their friends who share the same apology. It’s definitely not always theirs, but they are using it as a way to say sorry,” says Rachel.

“If I keep the project going- which is what I want to do, I assume I’ll always have a surplus of apologies, because there are so many.”

Rachel now is left to make the many pompoms to accompany each of the anonymous apologies that have been submitted. Although this isn’t the first of her tediously repetitive projects. 2012 saw Rachel complete a year making a dress daily. Keeping a daily blog about her crafty endeavours, the dresses were then sold to raise money for the Starlight Children’s Foundation.

“That year really conditioned me about time pressure and finding a way to slip creativity into everyday, she says. “I work a full-time job, it’s hard to find the time to do everything, but I think it’s just the drive of wanting to do it.”

Apomogy is set to be exhibited at Windor’s The Print Bar, in April, which will also act as a workshop to make pompoms and submit apologies.

Check out Rachel’s project on Instagram @apomogy or submit your anonymous apology to apomogy@gmail.com