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Up Closet and Personal #5 – Bonnie Porter Greene


This week we sit down with South Coast local, Bonnie Porter Greene. Artist, educator, designer, illustrator – she does it all! Her working week might include a rebranding project, colour palette selections, making documents spunkier & easier to read, building a Squarespace website, painting an illustration on a shop window, art workshops with preschoolers, teens and in between, or up a scissor lift painting a mural! She’s a lover of colour and second-hand wares and we love nothing more than to see her cheery smile!

Favourite place to shop?
All the op shops. It’s the first place I hit in any new town.

Online or instore shopping?
I loathe shopping instore for new. I think it’s because I’ve spent more than half my life op shopping and because the choice is narrowed once you’ve honed your op shopping skills, walking into a new clothing store overwhelms me! Too much choice. So online for new (underwear, tights, the occasional thing on the sale section at Gorman) and instore for second hand.

Last vintage purchase?
Ooh technically it’s a Japanese kimono I bought from bams & ted, and a very sexy red Spanish bull fighter-esque past the knee skirt also from bams & ted but I really want to say it’s this rad vinyl apple green 60’s mod jacket, with Peter Pan collar that I bought in Brunswick St in Melbourne last year (pre pandemic!)

The one that got away…
Well, they got away after I owned them…my mum threw them out I think! They were a pair of high waisted denim jean flares that were made in Nowra (my home town) the label on the back said NOWRA. I bought them in the 90’s and they disappeared a few years later.. I still think about them!

Do you collect anything?
Um.. you’ve not been to my house have you! Matchboxes (I have over 300), old bottles (lost count), rubbish I pick up on the beach around the world, the pegs from my clothesline when they die, my empty metal paint tubes after I’ve scraped out the paint, art books, records, found objects galore.. I’ll stop there…I’m not a hoarder – it’s carefully curated and only things that I LOVE!

Style icon?
My best friend in the whole wide world & plutonic soul mate Teresa! She’s a colour lover like me and doesn’t shy away from colour clash and kooky t-shirts and rad sneakers. I’ve always loved the 60’s since I was a teen and actually feel my best in anything with a 60’s or 70’s vibe. But colour ALWAYS!

What film can you watch over and over
Stand By Me. Can someone make a girls version?

Last book you couldn’t put down
The Museum of Modern Love, Heather Rose. But I’m also dipping in between two art books that I can’t put down right now – Ken Done by Amber Creswell-Bell & the Joan Mitchell catalogue from the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Words to live by…
It’s my life
It’s my journey
I will soar
I am worthy
There is abundance

I wrote those last year after I had been having some coaching sessions with local Kiama business coach and friend, Natasha Osmond-Dreyer from Blue Marbles and followed up one day with a float at my friend’s float centre Cocoon in Wollongong – the words popped in my head and I wrote them down as soon as I came out of the tank. I try and remind myself of this often and am planning on making it a nice little print – watch this space!

Thanks, Bonnie! Check out her paintings at Jennings Kerr, buy her first book, hire her hands or follow her @bonnie.portergreene!