Bruce McLaren Village delivered new painting of legendary namesake

Jan McLaren, painter Craig Primrose and Ryman Healthcare's head of corporate affairs David King stand with the newly ...

Jan McLaren, painter Craig Primrose and Ryman Healthcare's head of corporate affairs David King stand with the newly unveiled portrait of retirement village namesake Bruce McLaren, next to an original one-seater Formula 1 car.

More than 200 residents and visitors packed out the village centre at Bruce McLaren Retirement Village to witness an oil painting of the late, great Bruce McLaren being unveiled.

His sister Jan McLaren, who runs the Bruce McLaren Trust, unveiled the painting by Auckland painter Craig Primrose at the Dannemora village, following an introduction by Ryman Healthcare's head of corporate affairs David King.

The occasion was all the more special with the presence of a McLaren road car and an original 1970 single-seater McLaren.

Its owner Aucklander Dave Mitchell gave everyone a real thrill when he fired up the engine.

The painting was commissioned by Ryman Healthcare and is the first of a series of paintings of each village namesake to be undertaken by Primrose, who plans to complete four a year.

King says Ryman is delighted to be able to honour Bruce McLaren in this way, and it's fitting the tribute came at a time when the Formula 1 legend would have turned 80.

"The impact Bruce McLaren had on international motorsport was huge and long lasting," King says.

"We're delighted to see the beautiful work that Craig has created and believe it will help preserve this incredible legacy for the benefit of our residents for many generations."

Jan McLaren was also thrilled with the painting of her brother, saying the artwork combined with the attention created by the movie McLaren, released earlier this year, had had a huge impact on regenerating interest in Bruce's story.

"It really is a privilege for me to be involved with preserving his legacy, not just for our generation but for the younger generations coming up too," she says.

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"The Bruce McLaren Trust has had a long relationship with Craig and I really love the artwork he's produced. It's a wonderful tribute to a great man."

Primrose has had a long career artistically capturing many superstars of the sporting world and was the preferred artist of another New Zealand legend and Ryman village namesake, Sir Edmund Hillary.

Primrose says the hardest part was portraying the McLaren cars, with the painting taking around two months.

"There was a lot of research into the cars. We specifically tried to bring the cars from Formula 1 and the CanAm cars which he and Denny Hulme had great success in.

"I'm very excited to be embarking on this project. It's a real celebration for well-known New Zealanders."

 - Stuff

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