Pompoms and Apologies: An Interview with Rachel Burke
Mercy Bass | On 12, Feb 2016
â€œIâ€™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,â€ says Rachel Burke, Brisbane-based artist and designer at i make. you wear it. â€œWhen I work, itâ€™s unplanned and all at once- I might be like, â€˜today I feel like making a crystal-covered shoe.â€™â€
Rachelâ€™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.
â€œI like to find ways to express myself in situations where I feel uncomfortable, it started because I did a shitty thing and was like â€œIâ€™m sorry,â€ while standing with a pompom, and it made my partner laugh- and suddenly I was off the hook,â€ 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. â€œThe pompom itself is not meant to trivialise the apology in any way, but it is interesting how it does soften it,â€ says Rachel.
Apomogy didnâ€™t start long ago, but is has grown significantly with close to a thousand apologies being submitted via email. â€œI have hundreds now,â€ says Rachel, â€œand 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.â€
The photographs of the pompoms and apologies are posted onto the Instagram feed @apomogy, which makes the project highly interactive. â€œPeople are using otherâ€™s apologies to link in their friends who share the same apology. Itâ€™s definitely not always theirs, but they are using it as a way to say sorry,â€ says Rachel.
â€œIf I keep the project going- which is what I want to do, I assume Iâ€™ll always have a surplus of apologies, because there are so many.â€
Rachel now is left to make the many pompoms to accompany each of the anonymous apologies that have been submitted. Although this isnâ€™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 Childrenâ€™s Foundation.
â€œThat year really conditioned me about time pressure and finding a way to slip creativity into everyday, she says. â€œI work a full-time job, itâ€™s hard to find the time to do everything, but I think itâ€™s just the drive of wanting to do it.â€
Apomogy is set to be exhibited at Windorâ€™s The Print Bar, in April, which will also act as a workshop to make pompoms and submit apologies.
Check out Rachelâ€™s project on Instagram @apomogy or submit your anonymous apology to firstname.lastname@example.org