The flags are the brainchild of artist Joanna Brinton, who won a public art commission from Plymouth City Council (supported by Plymouth Culture) to showcase local artists and the city’s unique history.
Born in 1840, Edward Stanley Gibbons started his stamp collecting business in his father’s pharmacy shop at 15 Treville Street in Plymouth. His enterprise took flight and today Stanley Gibbons Ltd is highly regarded as the home and market leader of stamp collecting.
2015 marks the 150th anniversary of the publication of the company’s famous stamp catalogues and artists based in the South West were invited to create a new piece of public art celebrating his achievements.
Joanna, an associate artist at Plymouth University, proposed a series of flags based on the triangular ‘Cape of Good Hope’ stamps that helped establish Stanley Gibbons in 1863. Her idea was chosen by a panel of representatives from the Council, Plymouth Culture, Arts Council England, Plymouth Arts Centre and the Hoe Conservation and Residents Association.
Joanna is involving the local community in the project and recently held a workshop with the Hoe Conservation and Residents Association to create a colourful design for the second flag. ‘To the Wheel’ celebrates everyone pulling together to make something special and symbolises the observation wheel that was located on the Hoe for a number of years.
One more community designed flag will be raised in the Hoe Garden in January and will fly until spring 2016.
Deputy Council Leader Peter Smith said: “The Hoe Garden is a great location to showcase South West artists, provide an interesting focal point for visitors and celebrate different aspects of Plymouth’s history. It’s great that Jo has involved the Hoe Conservation and Residents Association in her project and that they can now see their design on display.”