PRO­FILE

For this Bris­bane de­signer, stylist, artist and author, all that glit­ters is… tin­sel!

Inside Out (Australia) - - Contents - WORDS BELINDA KEMP

For­get Hol­ly­wood – creative pow­er­house Rachel Burke pro­duces her own tin­sel­town from her stu­dio in Bris­bane

Can you tell us about your­self? I’m a de­signer and mul­ti­dis­ci­plinary artist. I live in Bris­bane with my hus­band Thomas and two sausage dogs, Daphne and Daisy. I love mak­ing things and keep­ing busy!

What in­spired you to start work­ing with tin­sel? I used to make cos­tumes for my friend, Pa­tience Hodg­son of Bris­bane band The Grates. I would try to make tac­tile, crazy cos­tumes. A few years ago, she asked me to make some­thing for her per­for­mance at Splen­dour In The Grass (the an­nual mu­sic and arts fe­s­it­val in By­ron Bay) and I knew it had to be spec­tac­u­lar! I started search­ing for fun tex­tures or ma­te­ri­als, stum­bled upon some tin­sel I had ly­ing around and thought, “this is it!” I made her my irst tin­sel jacket – and watch­ing her per­form on stage in it was out of this world. US singer Ke­sha and many other celebri­ties are aboard your tin­sel train. What’s it like see­ing ma­jor stars in your cre­ations? Sur­real! I don’t think it will ever get old or bor­ing to see celebri­ties wear my pieces. I also get a kick out of see­ing one of my pieces out in the wild. I spot­ted some­one wear­ing one at the Solange con­cert re­cently and it made my night! What do you love most about your work? I love how free and un­con­strained it is. It’s not try­ing to be com­mer­cial or trendy. It is just a pure ex­pres­sion of what I like and what’s hap­pen­ing in my mind. Is your home as colour­ful as your art? Yes, it is very colour­ful! It’s a crazy mix of vin­tage inds, art­works and, of course, tin­sel. How did your beau­ti­ful in­stal­la­tion with West Elm ear­lier this year for Syd­ney’s Mardi Gras come about? West Elm got in touch to ask if I could put togther an in­stal­la­tion to cel­e­brate Mardi Gras. They gave me real creative free­dom to de­velop and cre­ate my ‘Love Is Love’ dis­play. I spent a num­ber of weeks lead­ing up to the in­stall weav­ing the hang­ings with tin­sel, and I lew to the Syd­ney store to hang it from their ceil­ings. It was a dream come true to be able to cre­ate some­thing to cel­e­brate Mardi Gras and also to work with West Elm.

What do you have com­ing up? My sec­ond book, Be Daz­zling, is out very soon and I’m work­ing to­wards a large-scale pom­pom in­stal­la­tion with a new gallery launch­ing in 2019. Be Daz­zling: Sim­ple Projects To Make Your Wardrobe Sparkle ($19.99, Hardie Grant Books) is re­leased on Septem­ber 1.

Bris­bane creative Rachel Burke (in­set) is soon to re­lease her sec­ond book, Be Daz­zling (left). Her work has fea­tured at West Elm (above) in Syd­ney’s Bondi Junc­tion, and her ta­ble dis­play(op­po­site, top left) was for a West Elm party. Her cre­ations in­clude (op­po­site, clock­wisefrom far left) ‘Rain­bow’ jacket, ‘Straw­berry Fields’ dress and ‘Shoe-nicorn’ shoes. Rachel’s pom­pom de­signs (left & op­po­site, bot­tom left) are also pop­u­lar. Like ev­ery­thing else she cre­ates, they get their start in her Bris­bane stu­dio (below).

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