One of the top spots to experience while staying at the impossibly glamourous Jetwing Lighthouse and Heritage Villa by Jetwing is Galle Forts Flag Ship Gallery Stick No Bills.
The current genre, explains the owners Meg and Phil are working on, is 1930s art deco style cruise ship tour designs featuring strong females empowered to travel alone. ‘Maybe she is looking for solitude. Maybe she is looking for love’. The ultimate femme fatale. This is timely as always for this dynamic duo as a travel feature on Sri Lanka this week declares the island is one of the safest in the world for women to travel around, and I can vouch for that after twenty years of exploring it a single woman and never once having an issue both with and without children hanging off me.
Serious collectors say the secret to their success is art director and owner Phils meticulous research for every design he art directs, to create a resounding sense of place, detailing the range of surrounding topography, the architecture in keeping with the time and the fashions and styles of dressing, all the way to accurately depicting the local fauna and flora and seasonal fruits of the area. Every image, whether vintage or retro, freezes a moment in time and the process of creating it is a great story in itself. “One day we will find the time to reveal all these stories in a beautiful book,” Phil says, before telling me about how they put together a best-selling scene for their first European gallery that opened in spectacular style this week in Spain of a Mallorcan tram by the sea. He explains that the tram looks serene in the poster when in reality it is always jam-packed with tourists. This might be why Stick No Bills posters are described in the world’s leading glamour magazines like Vogue, Conde Nast and Architectural Digest as ‘impossibly stylish’ and ‘aspirational’.
Phil says the four cornerstones of the fast-growing success of Stick No Bills are integrity, originality, quality and innovation. “We believe in giving back. So when you buy our posters you help us fund the important philanthropic causes and conservation projects we support. Eight years of painstaking supply chain research and development has enabled us to attain a high quality of product. The challenge is keeping our unique brand ahead of the game in the art market and never letting it slide into the souvenir tat realm. That’s a mug’s game and not something we want to be associated with,” says Phil.
“I try to create pre-digital and pre-mass tourism era images that allow travellers to take home a poster that is a flash-back to the holiday they wish they had had; not of the unimaginative package tour and/or rental-car-company-plundered holiday many of them may have in fact actually had”.
The exciting opening in Palma this week in Spain has more than lived up to the twenty-two month-long search for the ideal second historic island location for their growing collection of stunning images. As soon as you walk into their 145m2 Temple Street flagship gallery you will love the layout, the framing and the feng shui, which, for those who have been to their Galle Fort Sri Lankan flag ship gallery, are astonishingly similar. Meg says, “Having spent a large part of the last few years fending off image pirates in Asia, there’s something ironic about ending up launching ‘Stick No Bills Iberia’ from a historic building, under the floorboards of which there is a tunnel that leads all the way to the Cathedral and the beach; a tunnel built by our itinerant merchant forbears, for evading guess what…? Pirate attacks!”
Please note copyright of all poster images with this piece are with Stick No Bill and only to be used in this blog & additional photos of the launch are by Juliet Coombe