You can’t spell water without art – as LIFEWTR’s labels showcase, with regional creatives taking the premium PH balanced water to artistic heights for its UAE launch.
With its bottle labels created by contemporary Arab artists, PepsiCo’s premium PH balanced water LIFEWTR combines innovative designs, the art of storytelling, and purpose for its launch in the UAE. Since its global launch in 2017, LIFEWTR has continued to be at the forefront of enhancing and advancing creativity.
The theme – Art Beyond Borders – introduces cultural nuances, transcending boundaries and igniting a cultural understanding, while bringing the label to life and showcasing the core ethos of a brand with purpose. The theme presents three artists; Athier, Basmah Felemban, and Ebtisam Abdulaziz, all of which use the power of art to start a conversation.
The three artists were handpicked by Myrna Ayad, former director of Art Dubai. “The whole LIFEWTR Middle East project has been incredibly rewarding,” Ayad says. “It was essential to recognize artists whose work transcends borders in that they may live somewhere and reference somewhere else in their work. Each of the selected artists carry parts of their heritage with them, wherever they may be, and within their works. I believe that art does transcend borders because it is a language and an invitation to learn and understand. Art is, or rather should be, borderless and open.”
Each of the LIFEWTR artists will be bringing the label to life by artistically engaging in dialogue beyond borders. Basmah Felemban, a Saudi artist based in Jeddah, produces culturally driven work centered around Islamic art, architecture, and traditional Arabic poetry all stemming from the Golden Age of Islam.
With LIFEWTR’s label, Felemban explores the movement of water, lunar and solar cycles, while also integrating the planets, Islamic astrology, science, and poetry. “A few stars aligned when I was approached by LIFEWTR – I had just graduated with an MA in Islamic and traditional art in London and returned to Jeddah after a residency in New York, where I had researched colors and water,” Felemban shares. “The Arabic word bahr (sea) inspired me. My family came from Jawa in Indonesia and for this work, I wanted to capture the feeling of that journey, with the moon as companion, its ability to be present and calm through the ebb and flow, and these symbols as signs guiding us on our pilgrimage.”
Athier Mousawi, a Paris-based artist with Iraqi origins, spent his childhood in London. “Artists beyond borders, especially now at a time of social distancing, allow us to connect and feel part of a bigger movement, a bigger conversation,” he says. His label is an amalgamation of memories of his childhood through to adulthood, delving into the intersectionality of all three cultures.
Athier uses a vibrant range of colors and geometry in his work, deriving his artistry from architecture, cubism, and a fascination with Iraqi modernism and Arabic texts. “LIFEWTR was a dream collaboration,” Mousawi says. “The encouragement of free expression was refreshing and a testament to an ethos that puts creativity in the hands of the artist. The bottle looks fantastic; it not only holds true to the design but also enhances it with subtle shimmers and movements in the colors. I didn’t expect a bottle to feel like such a work of art, but here we are!”
The third LIFEWTR label will be designed by Emirati artist Ebtisam Abdulaziz, to be released later this year in celebration of Expo Dubai 2020. On its launch, Mustafa Shamseldin, chief marketing officer at PepsiCo – Africa, Middle East, and South Asia said, “We’re thrilled to bring LIFEWTR to the UAE, a wonderful addition to PepsiCo’s diverse beverage portfolio in the region. Pluralism and inclusivity have always thrived in the UAE and we’re proud to offer regional artists a platform to create inspirational work that showcases pride in their cultures and mirrors the values the country stands for. We’ve strived to create a premium bottled water experience that balances clean, pure taste with authentic purpose, and we hope UAE residents have the opportunity to quench their thirst – both physically and emotionally.”
Through the power of artistry, LIFEWTR continues to incite culturally driven conversations that are imperative to the development of societal change. Water is essential to life – and it can also be an artistic and thought-provoking experience.