How you can be part of a unique global art project

Premium Dutch lager Grolsch is marking its 400th anniversary with a series of exciting creative celebrations across the UK.

Part of a global campaign, 'Celebrating 400 Years of Originality' kicked off in London on 10th March with an experiential tour across the country, giving visitors the chance to sample the beer and take part in a one-off, high-tech portrait project.

Using state-of-the-art technology and unique visual effects, participants are invited to create their own portraits inside an interactive photobooth.

The images can be printed out and shared on social media, and will be projected onto a huge billboard currently located at Waterloo station, in the shape of the iconic Grolsch swing-top bottle.

Limited-edition designs

The theme of the global campaign, originality, has also been taken up by 400 talented artists around the world, who have each interpreted the swing-top bottle with a one-off design.

In the UK, illustrator Kyle Bean (above) and graphic designer Noah Harris (below) are two of a number of creatives – including Greg Barth, Nicos Livesey, Tom Bunker and Cathering Losing – commissioned by creative agency VCCP with contributing to the multi-layered campaign, which includes targeted OOH, digital advertising and social media.

Bean took inspiration from the brand name – Grolsch is known as the 'beer from the green wood' – to create a punchy short time-lapse depicting the bottle by growing seedlings in a beer crate. The process took two weeks, using specialist nature time-lapse photography and lighting.

Meanwhile, London-based street art collective Graffiti Life adorned a Shoreditch wall last week with an impressive installation in just 400 minutes.

The team decorated 400 of Grolsch's swing-top bottles using a range of different techniques, including yarn-bombing, sticker art, paste up, stencil and urban gardening.

Graffiti Life arranged 400 customised Grolsch bottles over a giant wall mural for the Celebrating 400 Years of Originality campaign

Graffiti Life arranged 400 customised Grolsch bottles over a giant wall mural for the Celebrating 400 Years of Originality campaign

"We are hugely excited to launch this activity for our 400th anniversary," says Ali Pickering, portfolio brand director at Molson Coors. "Grolsch was founded on innovation and originality; shown in its iconic swing top bottle, and its distinctive bold, but perfectly balanced taste."

"Therefore we wanted to mark the anniversary by honouring the original spirit which has been key to our success," Pickering continues. "This campaign champions the individuals who just like Grolsch are trying innovative ways to create original products."

Get involved

To be part of the one-of-a-kind Grolsch billboard, catch the tour at one of the eight UK cities it's scheduled to stop at: London, Birmingham, Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff, Liverpool, Leeds and Manchester.

You can also check out more of the stunning artwork being created at the Grolsch Canvas UK website, and keep up with the campaign via Facebook and Twitter, using the hashtag #Grolsch400.

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Julia Sagar
Editor-in-chief retail

Julia is editor-in-chief, retail at Future Ltd, where she works in e-commerce across a number of consumer lifestyle brands. A former editor of design website Creative Bloq, she’s also worked on a variety of print titles, and was part of the team that launched consumer tech website TechRadar. She's been writing about art, design and technology for over 15 years.