Frequently Asked Questions

Answered by Naomi Shedlezki

Q1. Why the name Match Box Projects?

Whilst we were creating our first art project, we organically took the name Match Box Projects.

Q2.How did you start working together?

We are twin sisters. After finishing high school we led very different lives until late 2005. Leanne had just graduated from the College of Fine Arts (COFA) at the University of New South Wales. Through her artwork, she was exploring issues of identity and perception using imagery of matches and matchboxes. Leanne had started using matches and matchboxes in her work when she was asked to design a symbol of her identity for a university project - she used two matches to represent us. (As identical twins, we are a dna match - a blood match. We have always been boxed into being the twins and people too often look for our similarities and not our differences. When looking at a box of matchsticks they appear to be the same - but when looking deeper they are all unique).

During this time I was working in the tourism, media and education industries in Australia and Japan. I was a bi-lingual Tour Guide in Sydney and had lived on and off in Japan for 10 years. By 2005 I had travelled to Japan 6 times, whilst Leanne had never been but had always wanted to get there.

In about September 05, we found a book on the long history of art, design and advertising on Japanese matchboxes and discovered the first people to create the intricate artworks on Japanese matchbox labels were artists. This inspired us to create an exchange project between ourselves in 2006 to see each others different worlds, and at the same time create opportunities for artists to exhibit and exchange. We wished to also deepen awareness and understanding about contemporary art and Australian and Japanese culture to the people we would exchange with in both countries.

We created Match Box Galleries - portable hand held transparent cases to exhibit small scale works by artists we would meet during our exchange over 2006 whilst gaining an insight to the art and culture of both countries. Our exchange evolved into an ongoing series of exhibitions, events and exchanges involving over 70 Artists from both countries - The Australia Japan Match Box Project, and we organically evolved into an artist duo - Match Box Projects. You can find out more about our journey of exchange in the Archive section of our Blog.

Q3. How have you invited the artists, curators and members of the general public to take part in your collaborative projects?

We have personally met all artists/curators/members of the general public organically whilst conducting our projects. To date this is the only way we have invited all to take part.

Q4. How did you start conducting your Free Walking Tours across Sydney's Artist Run Initiatives?

We were following the careers of more than 30 diverse Sydney based artists and artsworkers who created/curated work for our first project, "Match Box Gallery". This included attending their exhibitions/activities at various galleries, museums and events in Sydney. We were amazed at the number of artist run galleries and projects we came across through this process and realised nothing was connecting these initiatives nor documenting these ephemeral projects. This led us to create the Sydney ARI Guide which can be viewed at This incorporates leading tours for diverse groups and the general public across Sydney's ARI districts.

If you have further questions please contact us directly via our Contact page