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How you can be part of a unique global art project

Premium Dutch lager Grolsch (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab) (above) and graphic designer Noah Harris (opens in new tab) (below) are two of a number of creatives – including Greg Barth (opens in new tab), Nicos Livesey (opens in new tab), Tom Bunker (opens in new tab) and Cathering Losing (opens in new tab) – commissioned by creative agency VCCP (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab) the 'beer from the green wood' – to create a punchy short time-lapse (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab). "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 (opens in new tab), and keep up with the campaign via Facebook (opens in new tab) and Twitter (opens in new tab), using the hashtag #Grolsch400 (opens in new tab).

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Julia Sagar
Julia Sagar

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.