As publicity stunts go, this one certainly ticks the boxes marked "festive." General Motors' British subsidiary Vauxhall commissioned designer Gary Card to cook up this Christmas tree, cunningly made out of parts from a Vauxhall Ampera, which is a re-badged Chevrolet Volt to you and me. Visit it at night and the leaves will slowly open up, revealing the mechanical inner-workings that lurk beneath its frontage. If you're based in that London, you can go to the Kings Cross Filling Station, where it's on show until January 6th.
Gary Card launches the Vauxhall Ampera Season's 'Electric Christmas' at The King's Cross Filling Station
London, November 2012 – Vauxhall Motors and The King's Cross Filling Station (KXFS) have commissioned one of London's most exciting creatives, set designer and illustrator Gary Card, to create an Electric Christmas tree that will light up Regents Canal as part of the Vauxhall Ampera Season.
Taking inspiration from the Vauxhall Ampera, Gary Card will create a giant, Electric Christmas tree that will become a nightly spectacle throughout the festive period. The sleek Christmas tree will reveal a gleaming engine-like structure within.
Gary Card's sets and installations have appeared in the windows of Dover Street Market both in London and Tokyo, Liberty, Topshop and Uniqlo, while his work has appeared in publications such as Vice, POP, Garage, Another Man, Dazed & Confused, V Man and i-D Magazine.
"When Vauxhall approached me to design a Christmas tree, my immediate response was create something mechanical. I really wanted to create a Christmas tree I'd never seen before. I loved the idea of applying the almost alien cybernetic design of the Ampera engine, to the warm, familiar silhouette of the Christmas tree. The overall design is inspired by the angles of the Ampera with a little nod to the robot iconography I loved as a child. I wanted to celebrate the fact that the Ampera is an electric car by having an electrical mechanism powering the Christmas tree. The tree also has a transforming element that I can't wait to reveal to everyone." says Gary Card
"We are beyond excited to get Gary's Christmas Tree installed in the Forecourt of the KXFS ready for the run up to Christmas. A fitting festive finale to the Vauxhall Ampera Season." says Pablo Flack, Office of Change
Electric Christmas is the last in a series of events forming The Vauxhall Ampera Season, a six month programme of cultural events at the newly created KXFS. Inspired by the award-winning Vauxhall Ampera, the first extended range vehicle with zero range anxiety which launched in May. The season has been developed to offer an engaging and relevant program of culture, free to the public, with a focus on celebrating the fascinating future of art, science and technology.