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The Art Series Hotels are asking guests to spray paint their walls

Art Series Hotels Colour Your Stay Campaign
Photograph: Michael Dodge/Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images for Art Series Hotels

Drawing on walls is every toddler’s dream and every landlord’s nightmare. It’s also exactly what Australia’s Art Series Hotels are asking its guests to do when they book their stay.

The Colour Your Stay promotion gives guests staying at the Blackman and the Olsen in Melbourne (and the Johnson in Brisbane) the chance to help create murals of the hotels’ namesakes. The collaborative, participatory art project does away with the idea that hotel walls should be white and sacred, instead offering guests aerosol cans to get creative with.

Art Series Hotels have enlisted the help of street and stencil artist Luke Cornish (aka ELK) as part of Colour Your Stay. Cornish uses dozens of acetate stencils to create incredibly realistic paintings – some of his previous subjects include Wil Anderson, Uncle Jack Charles and Catherine McGregor. He’s also notable for being the first stencil artist to be a finalist in both the Archibald and Sulman prizes.

For Colour Your Stay, Cornish has created portraits of Charles Blackman, John Olsen and Michael Johnson at their relevant hotels, with guests asked to complete the works. Don’t worry about ruining your threads – participants get given a gown, mask and set of gloves before going anywhere near paint. There’s no chance you’ll ruin the hotel suite either, with everything from the carpet to the kettle wrapped up in white sheets or butchers paper. Once you've suited up you have two minutes to contribute to the painting with a selection of aerosol paints.

Cornish advises guests to “let go” when it comes to the painting and just be creative. Both the aerosol paint colours and stencil shapes have been selected to reflect the works of the Australian artist they honour.  

The Colour Your Stay project is available to guests staying at the Olsen, the Blackman or the Johnson Art Series Hotels. You’ve got until December 30 to take part, and guests will be able to stay in the room with the artwork once it’s been completed.

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