Sri Lanka has been of great strategic import from the time of the ancient Silk Road. They exported jewellery and spice, especially cinnamon. After the Age of Discovery in the 16-17th century, the great powers of Europe started to advance into South Asia. Portugal, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom ruled this tropical island in succession until the mid-20th century.
The UNESCO living heritage city of Galle Fort, situated on the southwestern tip of Sri Lanka and encircled by high ramparts overlooking the Indian Ocean, is regarded as Asia’s best-preserved example of a Portuguese-fortified town.
In recent years, the fort has undergone a renaissance and is now fast becoming one of the world’s leading cultural-tourist destinations. It comprises beautiful old colonial buildings, many of which have been stylishly renovated as cafes, art shops, boutiques and high-end hotels.
On Church Street, the main street intersecting the old town, there is an outstanding poster gallery: Stick No Bills®. They have an incredible collection of vintage and retro travel posters, vintage film posters and antique maps.
“When the war ended here, we wanted to do something good for Sri Lanka; something creative and uplifting that would raise positive awareness about this remarkable country worldwide. What better way to tap into the aspirations and journey of a nation than through a celebration of its poster art movement? So, we opened this gallery six years ago,” say Meg and Philip James Baber, the British founders/directors of Stick No Bills®.
The husband and wife team curate vintage posters from all around the world and also create retro-style designs. The gallerists print high quality poster and postcard prints of their original poster collection, which we recommend as lovely souvenirs of Sri Lanka. They make us feel like going on a trip to this island paradise again, as many European people longed for exotic Ceylon at that time.
Stick No Bills® also supply Barefoot (www.barefootceylon.com) in Colombo with a selection of their most popular designs.