Luke Cornish at the launch of Art Series Hotels' 2018 Colour Your Stay campaign earlier this month.
Luke Cornish at the launch of Art Series Hotels' 2018 Colour Your Stay campaign earlier this month.

Colour Your Stay: Help transform Art Series hotels

WHITE-washed rooms at the Blackman, Johnson and Olsen Art Series hotels will be transformed by hotel guests into a collective canvas as part of a participatory art project, Colour Your Stay.

From now until December 30 the three hotels will challenge guests to grab a spray can, mask up and leave their mark on the walls of three of its properties by creating an ever-changing mural and becoming part of the shared experience. 

A pioneer of the Australian street art and stencil movement, Luke Cornish (aka ELK), will lead the Colour Your Stay 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.

After 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 two 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.

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

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.

"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.

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. 

To find out more go to or phone 1 800 278 468.  

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