I explore how poster art has become the number one travel souvenir for visitors to Galle Fort and why travel gurus say you can’t be trendy and boutique, if you don't have one of these amazing images on your villa or hotel walls. STICK NO BILLS welcomes artists to send in work and, if good enough, join their iconic gallery portfolio of unbelievable poster design. Stick No Bills are specialists in vintage tea, travel and film posters, many of them celebrating Sri Lanka's rich heritage, which can be enjoyed in their flagship Poster Gallery at 35 Church Street, Galle Fort. They are open from 8am to 8pm, 365 days per year.
Wave of resurgence
Hats off to the founders of STICK NO BILLS for leaping onto the cusp of an ever-building wave of resurgence in the poster design movement in post-war Sri Lanka. Philip, one time Head of Consumer Advertising at the FT in London, saw how competing political groups' obsession with plastering posters everywhere had pushed prices down and access to quality up in the poster printing realm here in a manner that provided a unique opportunity for him to launch a world-class poster art and design gallery.
"The best thing about the country's political poster frenzy is that it has prompted the government to enforce a massive crack down on poster-plastering in the build up to the last elections. This in turn has prompted more and more local authorities and private sector power houses to try and deter the illegal plastering by painting guess what..."STICK NO BILLS" all over the walls of every high street island-wide. So our branding campaign just went even more viral."
Vintage & Retro Style
Yes, it's true. An über cool, British-run poster gallery located right at the heart of Galle Fort is raising the game in the island's burgeoning peacetime art market. The flagship gallery of the ingeniously named STICK NO BILLS poster enterprise inhabits an old Dutch colonial townhouse on Church Street, the main road intersecting the living UNESCO world heritage city of Galle Fort. This place offers more than just an impressive array of vintage and retro-style posters showcasing Ceylon/Sri Lanka's golden days of pre and post-war travel, tea, surf and film production (downstairs) along with Hollywood, Bollywood and James Bond movie posters and lobby cards (upstairs). The trendsetting gallery also exhibits limited edition fine art prints of the masterpieces of Sri Lanka's greatest living artists, photographers and designers and sells high quality posters and postcards of all the prints they curate, along with excellent framing services.
Founded six years ago, STICK NO BILLS innovates at lightning speed. Just when you think they can't come up with another unique angle on surfing or travel you will find the co-founders in the local cafes chatting together as they create yet another amusing or wow series. This makes them a trailblazing one-stop shop for anyone seeking contemporary or antique affordable art for their wall or to take overseas in a tube to remind them why yet again Sri Lanka has come out as top of this year's bucket list to visit. If you can't make it down to Galle Fort you'll find an ever evolving selection of their best selling prints for sale at Barefoot Bookshop in Colombo, at the Empire Café in Kandy and also at pop up galleries in more seasonal places such as Arugam Bay.