Three great Bowmore Islay single malts were on offer, including this outstanding Bowmore 18 Year Old Global Travel Retail Exclusive

We’re delighted to name the winners of The Moodie Davitt Report Lockdown Challenge in association with Beam Suntory. As reported, our partners at the global drinks company kindly offered readers the chance to win three outstanding travel retail-exclusive bottles of Bowmore Islay Single Malt Whisky.

The Lockdown Challenge followed some superb responses by consumers worldwide to the original challenge laid down by the Getty Museum to recreate famous art scenes at home during the COVID-19 crisis, as seen further down this page.

Beam Suntory, a Platinum Partner of The Moodie Davitt Virtual Travel Retail Expo 2020, offered a trio of Bowmore Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky global travel retail exclusives (respectively 10 Year Old, 15 Year Old and 18 Year Old) to each of the category winners. To add to the fun, The Moodie Davitt Report threw in a case of Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough in New Zealand, homeland to Founder & Chairman Martin Moodie.

The Travel Retail Lockdown Challenge asked industry executives to:

• As in the original challenge, recreate your favourite art using objects lying around your home
Or: Recreate your favourite sporting moment of all time, again using items in your home.
Or: Recreate a moment in travel retail, aviation or tourism, same rules as above

The Challenge was judged by Beam Suntory Global Head Of Marketing – Travel Retail Ed Stening; and by readers’ votes.

The art category winner (and therefore recipient of the Bowmore Islay Single Malt Scotch 18 Year Old) was from travel retail industry veteran Alan Brennan. Alan heads dcGTR, an associated business unit of dcactiv, which works with retailers, brand owners, airport operators and trade associations to drive greater shopper purchasing behaviour – something we will really need in coming months.

Alan produced this very timely reworking of The Creation of Adam by Michelangelo, painted by the Italian master between 1508 and 1512 (that he did it in four minutes underlines his genius). The original fresco, of course, forms part of the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling and illustrates the Biblical creation narrative from the Book of Genesis in which God gives life to Adam, the first man – written about 2005 years BC (before Coronavirus). The Creation of Alan, which took much longer than four minutes, features the responsibly garbed fingers of Alan and his son Jordan.

Ed Stening said: “My vote, based on combining art with time, plus a great call out to medical workers is to The Creation of Alan.”

A close runner-up was the equally timely entry from Jess Howells, Founder of UK company Well-Noted, which brought a touch of Twoloo Rolls-Lautrec to Madame Barbe de Rimsky Korsakov, a much-loved portrait of a Russian woman aristocrat painted in 1864 by German artist Franz Xaver Winterhalter. The world’s leading fine art critic Nitram Eidoom described Jess’s work as “a new kind of expressionism born out of desperation, panic buying and a recent visit to Tesco”.

Readers’ votes poured in for the sporting category, with several Australian readers rather bitterly urging that the prize be given to any entry except Jonathan ‘Chaps’ Holland’s fine recreation of Jonny Wilkinson’s dropped goal in extra time to win the 2003 Rugby World Cup for England against the hosts Australia. However, so good was the recreation, and because Chaps is still paying off the repair of his front window, he does indeed win the prize. A bottle of Bowmore Islay Single Malt Scotch 10 Year Old (well it had to be 10 didn’t it?) Global Travel Retail Exclusive is heading unerringly between the posts (those of UK and Singapore) to you Chaps.

This is the one, it’s coming back for Jonathan Holland… he drops for World Cup glory… IT’S UP, IT’S OVER, HE’S DONE IT! He’s broken Eleen’s front window!

But what about the travel retail recreation? Heavy voting was recorded for two entries in particular.

First, by a single vote was Rakhita Jayawardena’s ingeniously recreation of a lovely scene from 15 years ago, when a group of well-known industry executives visited the Travel Retail Village, the culmination of what was then the greatest fund-raising project in travel retail history. King Power Traveler CEO Rakhita, the ‘Father of inflight retail’, set about this project with as much dedication and pride as he showed all those years ago.

The village was funded by the industry in response to the devastating Boxing Day tsunami of 2004 that killed hundreds of thousands of people across South Asia. The project focused on rehousing the people of Palliyawatta, a sea-front village that was wiped out by the disaster. The Travel Retail Village was inaugurated on 12 January 2006, followed by a formal opening on 16 March that year. This picture was taken in 2012 during a visit to see how the community was faring. With the aid of a little photoshop it has to be said (unless there are identical Jayawardena triplets), Rakhita has reimagined the visit of Dan Cappell, Martin Moodie and Jonathan Holland to the village.

The level of detail is what clearly impressed voters: The strap on Dan Cappell’s hand and the sunglasses; the black cap in Martin Moodie’s hand and the colour of his watch strap; the colour of the watch on Jonathan Holland’s hand together with all the clothing colour matches. Art recreation at its finest by the Jayawardena triplets. A bottle of Bowmore Islay Single Malt Scotch 15 Year Old Global Travel Retail Exclusive (to mark 15 years since the picture was taken) is heading to Rakhita’s residence in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

But wait… is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s a Superhero. Mr Camel Milk Chocolate Patrick Dorais of Al Nassma Chocolate has clearly got the hump about being grounded for so long in Dubai. Readers liked not only Patrick’s entry but also his commentary which said: “A depiction of a Superhero on an early morning flyover of his Metropolis  – always on the lookout for miscreants, trouble-makers and spreaders of fake news – ensuring the safety of all aviation, tourists and travel retail staff alike.” Courtesy of The Moodie Davitt Report, a case of Cloudy Bay is on your way Patrick.

Thanks to all those who entered and voted in the Moodie Davitt Report Lockdown Challenge – and a particular shout out to Ed Stening and the great team at Beam Suntory.

And special mention to…

Our final entry drew its inspiration from an outstanding post-impressionist work by the genius Paul Cezanne. The reinterpretation comes from Caroline Cheung, Director of US fashion and accessories distributor Escale and one of the most knowledgeable and experienced voices in the global travel retail community. Her creation – “and my lunch”, says Caroline – is a beautiful re-enactment of Cezanne’s Still Life with Sugar Bowl, Jug and Plate of Fruit

Now this is clever. From Irishman Gerry Murray, another youthful industry veteran, and owner of Travellers’ Trove – a multi-faceted business offering consulting, distribution and brand agency representation services across all geographies and several product categories – comes this reworking of ‘Ceci n’est pas un pipe’ (This is not a pipe).

Image: Daily Art Magazine

Also known as The Treachery of Images, Ceci n’est pas un pipe is a 1929 work by surrealist painter René Magritte. But it IS a pipe we hear you say. If it’s not a pipe then what is it?

Courtesy of Daily Art Magazine, here is the explanation: Magritte loved word games. He was also determined to prove that the painting and poetry were on an equal footing despite the Surrealists’ constant flaunting on the pre-eminence of the written word. Magritte caches the gap between the language and the meaning. His statement is taken to mean that the painting itself is not a pipe; it is merely an image of a pipe. 

Magritte explained it: “It’s quite simple. Who would dare pretend that the REPRESENTATION of a pipe IS a pipe? Who could possibly smoke the pipe in my painting? No one. Therefore it IS NOT A PIPE.”

And so to Gerry’s brilliant reinterpretation. Using a picture of Lotte Duty Free in Myeong-dong Seoul, he superimposes the title ‘Ceci n’est pas un shopper’. In other words, what is portrayed is not a shopper but merely an image of a shopper. Something that many retailers may have to make do with for quite a while yet. An artistic twist on a travel retail industry dilemma. Superb.

Now we feature another contribution from Rakhita Jaaywardena, CEO of King Power Traveler. Besides his commercial talents and extensive contribution to his country (his extensive public service includes spells as CEO of Sri Lankan Airlines and Chairman of Ceylon Electricity Board), Rakhita is a man of rare sporting talent. Especially cricket. Anyone who remembers the match that used to be played before the TFWA Asia Pacific show in Singapore will remember his all-round skills. Opening batsman; medium-pace swing bowling; adept in the field, Rakhita had it all. Heck, he could even sing.

Golf, though, it is fair to say, has stretched the Jayawardena capabilities – and patience. Rakhita is too much of a human dynamo to spend four to five hours meandering around a golf course trying to hit an egg-sized ball into a cup not much bigger hundreds of yards away. And yet, and yet… class will prevail. At the King Power Travel Retail Friendship Club Golf Open in Macau in 2017, Rakhita’s enormous latent talent burst through with this drive (pictured left) on the first tee.

Notice the eyes firmly on the ball (well they were until it disappeared), the classic hip and shoulder rotation, and the beginning of a long and full follow through. It’s a classic example of what King Power Group CEO Sunil Tuli described recently on this website in his Virtual Golf Academy of how to ‘snap load’ the power package and how to reach maximum centripetal force with minimum pivotal resistance.

Now, when we say the ball ‘disappeared’, that needs qualifying. It did. Straight into the thick jungle that lines the first tee at Macau Golf Club, around 27 metres to Rakhita’s right. But for every one of those 27 metres the ball’s trajectory, sliced as perfectly as fine Sri Lankan mango, was every bit as majestic as anything Tiger Woods has ever brought to the game. The memory has etched itself indelibly in Rakhita’s mindset ever since and the Lockdown Challenge saw him reprise the shot – though this time using a coconut from his extensive home gardens just outside Colombo to ensure he did not miss the ball.

But do you notice anything about the technique? Yes, you’re right. It bears all the hallmarks of a classic cover drive in Rakhita’s beloved cricket. Notice the way in the reprised shot his eyes are firmly over the ball, as he caresses it into the covers (his maid had forgotten to clear the washing line that morning). So much, in fact, does Rakhita draw on his cricket technique in golf that sometimes as he drives off the tee he calls for a quick single.

The Moodie Davitt Report thought we had discovered where this textbook technique emanates from. It turns out that Rakhita is not the only Sri Lankan cricketing great bearing the name Jayawardena or Jayawardene. Step forward one of Rakhita’s idols (and actually his cousin), Denagamage Praboth Mahela de Silva Jayawardene known simply (much to the relief of cricket commentators worldwide) as Mahela Jayawardene. Look at the beautiful technique below, the sublime balance, the perfect follow-through. But as we studied the image below, it was clear that Mahela had in fact based his technique on Rakhita’s golf swing.

Mahela is the only cricketer after Indian legend Sachin Tendulkar to have made 600 international appearances. Cricket website CricBuzz describes him as “a masterful technician oozing class” lauding his batting as “a thing of beauty and a joy to watch”. Just like Rakhita’s reprised drive in the great Lockdown Challenge.

Mahela Jayawardene tries out Rakhita Jayawardena’s golf technique in test cricket

From ‘Mr Danzka’ himself, that really great Dane of the human variety, Torben Vedel Andersen (Global Sales Director at German drinks group Waldemar Behn) comes this uncanny similarity to an iconic work of Danish art.

The Little Mermaid is a bronze statue by Edvard Eriksen that depicts a mermaid becoming human. The sculpture is displayed on a rock by the waterside at the Langelinie promenade in Copenhagen, Denmark. It is 1.25 metres tall and weighs 175 kilograms.

The Slightly Bigger (in height) Mermaid is a more temporary installation, a (starting to go) bronze (due to the nice Danish spring weather) still-life work created by Torben’s daughter Christina on the beautiful coast near Havnsø in Denmark earlier today. This contemporary Danish masterpiece, a travel retail exclusive, is 1.79 metres and weighs 90 kilograms (“close to perfect”, says Torben).

“The Little Mermaid is a truly world-famous piece of Copenhagen,” adds Torben. “The new Mermaid will for sure be an icon of similar fame…😂” We agree.

And we had more entries from Rakhita Jaywardena, clearly enjoying his life in lockdown. Here are his reworkings of ‘The Trunk of an Elephant’ (featuring outstanding use of a hosepipe) and Delhi’s famous Lotus Temple, a Baháʼí House of Worship that was dedicated in December 1986 and is notable for its flowerlike shape.

From the Tuli household in Singapore, where various family members and dog Spike are currently tasked with keeping husband, father and grandfather Sunil Tuli (Group Chief Executive of King Power Hong Kong and President of APTRA) confined to lockdown so that Singaporean citizens are not infected by his legendarily bad puns, comes this gem.

Art-loving readers will recognise one of the images above (and probably shield their eyes from the other two, one of which, similar to that of Jess Howells’ creation above, evokes the early Lautrec – in this case clearly not Twoloos but his younger brother Oneloo-Lautrec). It is, of course The Thinker by Auguste Rodin (1840 – 1917). Now we know it’s not August yet but you have to admit that the May 2020 reinterpretation by Sunil (1940 – still alive) is almost uncanny in its resemblance. We said almost.

The Son Of Man by René Magritte

We also love Magritte’s The Son Of Man as reinterpreted by Whyte and Mackay Business Development Manager Toby King. What would the great master himself have said? Don’t walk away René.

A superb entry from Premiere Portfolio Co-Owner Kevin Walsh, who sent us this image of the Walsh household hound, the beautiful Fizz, listening to ‘his master’s voice’ 2020-style. What’s the song? Most likely Hound Dog by Elvis Presley. Fizz, in case you need any Pointers to the breed, is a Viszla, a variety from Hungary. Very Hungry actually – Kevin got her to pose so obediently by placing her treat under the speaker.

‘His Master’s Voice’ by Francis Barraud (left) and reinterpreted featuring Fizz the Vizsla (right). Or is it the other way around? Masterpieces both.

Below is an entry from travel retail and drinks industry veteran Peter Sant, who together with his sons successfully recreated one of the most famous sporting moments in English history (an illicit bit of photoshopping going on in there Peter but we will allow that given the lovely sense of nostalgia that harking back to England’s last footballing triumph over half a century ago evokes).

England winning the World Cup in 1966 with Sir Bobby Moore holding the Jules Rimet Trophy

EXAMPLES OF ENTRIES TO THE ORIGINAL GETTY MUSEUM CHALLENGE