Bonnie Porter Greene

matchbox portraits


Buy two portraits for $110 each, 3 for $100 each. Single Pringles are $150.

My matchbox collection started with a bag full of someone else’s lifelong travel collection I purchased at an op shop in Warrawong in the late 1990’s. Everyone see’s my collection on display and throws me one or 2 every now and again, and I’ve continued to collect them ever since.

All the drawings I’ve been working on since I set my self the challenge of drawing my 300+ collection in February 2018. I’ve managed to average one a week and this is a selection of my favourites. Most of these matchboxes are from the 1970’s, and I have found quite a few of them were made in Australia by Hanna who are still around, still making promotional items and STILL making matchboxes!

I wanted to show how much nostalgia is tied up in these objects and the range of businesses that gave away matchboxes in a time when smoking was much more socially acceptable and commonplace. When I’m drawing them I often think about the designers and artists who created the artwork for the matchboxes, how painstaking this work was before computers.

Some of these objects have already been part of an exhibition curated by Glenn Barkley around 1999 in the old Piper’s music store in Wollongong just before it was demolished.

If a drawing speaks to you, they are available to purchase, unframed in an archival mylar sleeve. They are all around the 4 x 5” photo size (the drawings area roughly true to the size of the matchbox).

They will be on display at So & So’s gallery space, The Coach House which is at the back of the Manse in Nowra (opposite Aldi and diagonally opposite Hyper Hyper Coffee) from Thursday 6th December in time for their makers market.