Last Friday morning I was in Grattan St, Prahran and stumbled across The Cullen. I had heard about The Cullen and its sister hotels, The Olsen in South Yarra and The Blackman in St Kilda Rd, so was keen to have a snoop. The three properties form the Art Series hotel group, each of which are themed around the work of an Australian artist. And so, the interior fit out and whole feel of each hotel is determined by the art. The Cullen features the work of Archibald Winner Adam Cullen.
I tentatively asked the concierge if someone would be free to show me around as I was an interior design student and very keen to see the interior works. I had had some luck with this previously at The Intercontinental in the city, but you never know if they’ll oblige or just dismiss you.
Pleasantly surprised. Nicola, their BDM was more than happy to give me a tour and was very forthcoming with the details of the artist and hotel. You can tell she was passionate about The Cullen.
Adam Cullen’s eclectic and attention-grabbing paintings and sculptures are dotted all over the hotel. They are generally bright depictions of animals; donkeys, cows, horses, and dogs, and in keeping with Cullen’s fascination with Ned Kelly, many of the frosted bathroom splashbacks feature this legendary larrikin. Those conservative ones amongst us would not mesh too well with his work I would suggest!
Nicola showed me one of the rooms which has housed a number of international artists. The idea being the artists stay and are encouraged to add their mark to the room whether it be a painting, or graffiti as in this case. Street and graffiti artists D*Face, Swoon and Bleck Le Rat have all left their mark on this room.
This expedition provided a handy little interlude before I headed off to college to learn how to draw people in 1 point perspective! Checking out a wide variety of hotels is definitely high on my agenda this year. They often feature edgy design that is too decadent for residential spaces but too out there for office space. So far I’m finding that people such as Nicola are keen to show off their space/work/projects are very happy to help.
If you don’t ask, you don’t get!