MEXICAN ARTIST PARTNERS WITH VUSE TO CREATE A LARGE-SCALE FOLK ART KIWI IN HOMAGE TO THE McLAREN F1 TEAM’S NEW ZEALAND ROOTS
Today, visitors to McLaren Racing can say “Hola” to a giant sculpture of a Kiwi bird designed by Mexican artist Luis Pablo, who has bestowed his artistic sculpture on a global stage ahead of the FORMULA 1 GRAN PREMIO DE LA CIUDAD DE MÉXICO 2022 weekend.
Honouring Mexican tradition, Vuse, the no.1 global vape brand*, and partner The McLaren F1 Team, have unveiled an unprecedented bright and celebratory 8-foot-tall Kiwi in the style of traditional Mexican folk art, alebrije, based on designs by the sculptor from Oaxaca, Mexico. Perched at the iconic headquarters of The McLaren F1 Team, just in time for the FORMULA 1 GRAN PREMIO DE LA CIUDAD DE MÉXICO, Luis Pablo’s bold paintwork gives the Kiwi a new lease of life.
The larger-than-life installation, which is visible until after the Mexican Grand Prix weekend, is a recreation of smaller scale alebrije Kiwis that Luis has handmade and gifted to The McLaren F1 Team. Putting Mexican folk art on a pedestal in time for Luis’ home race and drawing attention to the role that culture and heritage plays in his work, the eye-catching design is an assembly of three worlds; Vuse’s drive to champion emerging creatives, Luis’s passion and creative talent in alebrije artwork and The McLaren F1 Team’s heritage in New Zealand.
True to Vuse’s ethos, the brand has taken Luis’s artwork to the next level creating a larger-than-life celebratory Kiwi. In partnership with Jahee Campbell-Brennan, Director, at Wavey Dynamics, Luis’s smaller-scale Kiwi has been 3D scanned to become an 8-foot CNC milled sculpture made from a similar type of high-density foam to those used as core materials within carbon fibre wings, floors, wishbones and other structures in F1 cars where it acts to provide further stiffness and strength. The bespoke Kiwi sculpture marks the latest activity as part of Vuse’s Driven by Change programme alongside The McLaren F1 Team which supports the creative class by offering underrepresented artistic talent the opportunity to showcase their passion and work on one of the world’s biggest and most high-profile stages – elite motorsport.
Luis has a deep passion for alebrijes, a traditional form of Mexican folk art, which combines intricate carvings depicting animals, people, objects, and imaginary creatures painted with intense colours and vibrant patterns. Driven by his creative pursuits, over the years, Luis has mastered his craft to become a guardian of Mexican folk art, which is showcased by his impressive collection of intricately designed alebrijes. Through his sculptures, he hopes to represent and shine a spotlight on this traditional form of Mexican art which is steeped in history; inspiring others to embrace and share their own cultural traditions.
Luis Pablo comments: “Through Driven by Change, Vuse has offered me the incredible opportunity to be able to represent my culture and introduce alebrije to many who would otherwise never encounter it. I hope that through creativity and design, we have brought together the worlds of Mexico, New Zealand, Vuse and The McLaren F1 Team to symbolise the power of heritage. It is amazing to be able to showcase my artwork and culture on a global stage and I’d like my artwork to be seen as an example to the next generation, inspiring them to believe in themselves.”
In homage to their founder, racing driver Bruce McLaren, New Zealand’s national bird, the Kiwi, has become embedded in The McLaren F1 Team’s mantra, embracing spirit, perseverance, and pursuit of better. Luis has reimagined the flightless bird, decorating it with the iconic papaya and blue colourway of The McLaren F1 Team to symbolise the passion that comes from being proud of your background, the diligence that comes with the belief in your abilities and the ongoing drive to follow your dreams.
Matt Dennington, Executive Director, Partnerships & Accelerator, McLaren Racing comments: “It is a pleasure to welcome Luis Pablo to the McLaren Technology Centre to celebrate his amazing work. Through Vuse’s Driven by Change campaign, we are proud to celebrate underrepresented artists and help to give them the recognition they deserve.”
Vuse is committed to supporting the creative industries. The Driven by Change initiative forms part of Vuse’s legacy and ambition to accelerate the creative pursuits of underrepresented artists across the globe. Working with their partner, The McLaren F1 Team, Vuse’s Driven by Change programme identifies new opportunities to bring their work to life, helping introduce creatives from diverse backgrounds to the masses. Luis’s large-scale alebrije Kiwi will be showcased at McLaren Racing from today until after the FORMULA 1 GRAN PREMIO DE LA CIUDAD DE MÉXICO 2022 on Sunday 31st October.
John Beasley, Group Head of Brand Building, BAT, comments: “From Abu Dhabi to Colombia and now Mexico – Driven by Change is establishing a truly global legacy, celebrating underrepresented artists from all walks of life. Luis’s clear passion for his colourful, bold and unique form of traditional Mexican Folk art is inspiring and having an alebrije brought to life at the McLaren F1 Team’s HQ epitomises what Driven by Change is all about.”
To discover more about Luis’s story and the Driven by Change initiative visit Vuse and Luis’s social channels.
*Based on Vype/Vuse estimated value share from RRP in measured retail for vapour (i.e. total vapour category value in retail sales) in key vapour markets: USA, Canada, France, UK, Germany as of May 2022
Notes to Editors:
BAT is a leading, multi-category consumer goods business with a purpose to build A Better Tomorrow™ by reducing the health impact of its business through offering a greater choice of enjoyable and less risky products for adult consumers.
The company continues to be clear that combustible cigarettes pose serious health risks, and the only way to avoid these risks is not to start or to quit. BAT encourages those who would otherwise continue to smoke to switch completely to scientifically-substantiated, reduced-risk alternatives*†. In order to deliver this, BAT is transforming into a truly consumer-centric multi-category consumer products business.
BAT’s ambition is to have 50 million consumers of its non-combustible products by 2030 and to generate £5billion of New Categories revenue by 2025. BAT has set stretching ESG targets including achieving carbon neutrality for Scopes 1 & 2 by 2030 and eliminating unnecessary single-use plastic and making all plastic packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.
BAT employs over 52,000 people and operates in over 175 countries. The BAT Group generated revenue of £12.87 billion in the first half of 2022 and profit from operations of £3.68 billion.
The company’s Strategic Portfolio is made up of its global cigarette brands and a growing range of reduced-risk*† New Category tobacco and nicotine products and traditional non-combustible tobacco products. These include vapour, tobacco heating products, modern oral products including tobacco-free nicotine pouches, as well as traditional oral products such as snus and moist snuff. In the first half of 2022, we had 20.4 million consumers of our non-combustible products, a rise of 2.1 million on full year 2021.
*Based on the weight of evidence and assuming a complete switch from cigarette smoking. These products are not risk free and are addictive.
† Our products as sold in the US, including Vuse, Velo, Grizzly, Kodiak, and Camel Snus, are subject to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulation and no reduced-risk claims will be made as to these products without FDA clearance.
About McLaren Racing
McLaren Racing was founded by New Zealand racing driver Bruce McLaren in 1963. The team entered its first Formula 1 race in 1966, since then McLaren has won 20 Formula 1 world championships, more than 180 Formula 1 grands prix, the Indianapolis 500 three times, and the Le Mans 24 Hours at its first attempt.
The team competes in the FIA Formula 1 World Championship with Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo, the NTT INDYCAR Series with Arrow McLaren SP drivers Pato O’Ward and Felix Rosenqvist, and the Extreme E Championship with Emma Gilmour and Tanner Foust. McLaren will compete in Season Nine of the FIA Formula E World Championship in 2022/23.
McLaren was the first F1 team to be awarded the Carbon Trust Standard in 2010 and has retained it since on a bi-annual basis, most recently in February 2021. The team was also the first in F1 to be given the FIA Sustainability Accreditation Award at a three-star level in 2013 as part of the FIA Environmental Certification framework, before becoming a signatory to the UN Sports for Climate Action Commitment in 2021.
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