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Colour Your Stay: Three Art Series Hotels Transformed Into Blank Canvas for Participatory Art Project

December 17, 2018 Hotel News No Comments Email Email

In an Australian first, Art Series Hotels will challenge its guests this spring to grab a spray can, mask up and leave their mark on the walls of three of its properties.

Until December 30, a white-washed room at The Blackman, The Johnson and The Olsen hotels will be transformed into a collective canvas as part of a participatory art project.

Famed for daring campaigns inspired by the latest trends in art and travel, Colour Your Stay will rely on guests to help create an ever-changing mural and become part of the shared experience.

The collaborative art project follows the award-winning No Robe campaign, which boldly asked Art Series guests to strip nude and strike a pose, and the mischievous Steal Banksy that encouraged art theft.

A pioneer of the Australian street art and stencil movement, Luke Cornish (aka ELK) will lead the project for Art Series. In a nod to each of the hotels namesake artist, he will create a different artwork at each hotel; a portrait of John Olsen, Charles Blackman and Michael Johnson, that guests are called on to complete.

Upon check in hotel staff will share instructions and guests can register to participate. A mixture of spray cans and paint brushes, a gown, mask and gloves will be available for guests to use in the room, with each person given 2 minutes to unleash the artist within.

Transgressing the ‘look but don’t touch’ restriction of conventional gallery culture, the stark white interior will be transformed over time as hundreds of collaborators leave their mark.

Cornish says of his involvement in the campaign, “I’m thrilled to be working with Art Series Hotels on Colour Your Stay. Their dedication to supporting urban art and all of its wonderful satellite genres is a passion I share and I’m really excited to see what we create together with guests.”

With contemporary artists increasingly involving the public to help create their work – think Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama’s Obliteration Room or Measuring the Universe by Slovakian Roman Ondák – Colour Your Stay also relies on guests to participate.

Not that it should be too hard to convince them to join in however. Famed American photographer Spencer Tunick recently lured 1000 people for a large-scale nude installation at a supermarket in the middle of a Melbourne winter, which highlights the public’s desire to take part in unique interactive installations.

“Supporting the arts and delivering unique art inspired experiences for our guests that are personal and bold sits at the core of the Art Series Hotels brand,” Director of Marketing Ryan Tuckerman says. “This exciting campaign celebrates the growing art movement that directly engages the audience in the creative process and explores all manners of self-expression.”

Luke Cornish was the first ever stencil artist to be named a finalist in both the Archibald Portrait Prize and Sulman Prize. He uses up to 85 layers of carefully hand-cut acetate in each work. He then sprays layer upon layer of aerosol paint until his images bear a striking photographic resemblance in a new form of hyper-realism.

Cornish uses the tools of a street artist to create decadent, detailed works that envelop the viewer. There is an honesty to his work, slicing back the layers and reconstructing his muses with astonishing deftness. His subjects have included Wil Anderson, Jack Charles, Father Bob Maguire, Catherine McGregor and former Prime Minister Bob Hawke.

Cornish will officially launch the campaign and unveil his artwork at The Olsen in South Yarra on October 15. His latest exhibition (In)appropriate opened at the Metro Gallery, Armadale on October 4.
Guests who share a photo on Instagram with the tag #colouryourstay will go in the draw to win a night on Art Series plus a signed ELK drawing.

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