A conversation with Joanne Burke


In an era of a globalized, massification of taste, Joanne Burke creates Art. Wearable Art. Her work, makes our brains tickle and our hearts skip a beat. Looking at her work is like stepping into a magic time portal, which directly sends us to ancient realms populated by gods and goddesses, mysterious creatures and mythological symbols. And Beauty. We are able to see Beauty and craftsmanship in every detail. And humour. Because intelligence and humour go hand in hand. The penis ring, the boob ring, the sacred and ancient phallic and fertility connotations, see light again, unpretentiously in this industrialized , mechanical and banal sex era.
While some people post on Instagram more or less crooked photos of undifferentiated trash and this season's shoes, Joanne Burke posts Art. Photos of nuns in Rome wearing inspiring colour schemes of black and washed out blue, ancient civilizations ruins, funny Medieval painting details, and the jewels designed by her. Joanne Burke just makes all of us want to move to Rome, wear antique Romanian blouses and remain indifferent to modern world maladies.


Please tell us a little about your background.
At this moment, a chalky white wall with a tall leafy plant leaning towards me, as if to whisper me something....3 masks hanging- one a paper mache Egyptian face made by a child, one of an Indian goddess supposedly stolen from a temple in India and the other, my favourite, of an ugly old lady. A string of seashells from Tasmania hanging from a blue candle. A white piano scattered with corals, pearls and shells I've collected and a ceramic girl riding a fish ornament i bought with me from America that is very important and special to me.


Your work reflects a very intricate, intimate and artistic world; filled with ancient symbols and almost ritualistic codes. Where does your inspiration come from?
From the need to find a better way of understanding and communicating my feeling to myself and others. I've created my own 'code' as you say, as a way to manage my own reality instead of trying to adapt to usual existing codes, that just don't fit me at all.


What was your first fashionable memory?
 Wearing a tiny pair of engraved brass Aladdin shoe ornaments from my grandmothers fireplace decoration and being so upset to visit for the weekend and find that my feet had grown too big to wear them anymore. Also, drawing my dream outfits of faux-fur vagina skirts, plastic sunglasses bras with nipple eyes and shoes with alive and dead fish inside the heels when i was 8 or 9.


What are your favourite things about living in Rome?
The expected and unexpected visions awaiting you around every corner....


I know you have studied dance. What is your favourite piece?
Martha Graham-Night Journey (1947).

All photos used with permission by the author.

Joanne Burke website
 

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