I’ve always found myself strangely attached to objects that have a story to be told. Old, battered, scuffed and dusty – I see a a rich, underlying beauty in such things. Years ago, I worked with a man who had been collecting matchboxes on his travels for over thirty years. He and his wife were downsizing to an apartment and after much consideration and deliberation (and I’m told, encouragement from his wife) he decided it was time for the collection to find a new home. I answered the bulk email sent out to all staff, and, after waiting until the end of the day to make sure no-one else was interested, collected the giant bag of matchboxes to take them home.
I sifted through the boxes from all over the world – Canada, Alaska, Italy, Germany, Singapore and throughout Australia. Each box tells a story – a hotel in Montana, a Las Vegas casino, a restaurant in Vancouver or a cabaret show in Melbourne. Tiny postcards from a forgotten time when you would be asked ‘smoking or non-smoking’ upon entering a restaurant and there were ashtrays on aeroplanes.