Sir Elton John's words
How did the collaboration come about?
This new project is actually the Elton John AIDS Foundation's second collaboration with Lalique. Back in the late 1990s, we were thrilled to work with Lalique on a crystal angel piece that was very successful, raising money in support of the Foundation's life-saving work. These funds were crucial to our organisation, especially back in the early years of our founding, and we remain incredibly grateful to Lalique for working with us then and supporting EJAF in its formative years.
For me, the collaboration clearly demonstrates that this remarkable company is deeply committed to its responsibilities as a global corporate citizen. Lalique recognises that corporations have an important role to play in helping to solve problems like the global AIDS crisis. One of those roles is to support the efforts of non-profit organisations working at the forefront of the epidemic. The Elton John AIDS Foundation is very proud to partner with Lalique on this important new project, and I am personally so thrilled and so very grateful to Lalique for collaborating with us once again.
What were your own aims when you embarked on the collaboration?
The ultimate goal of this project is to raise money to support urgently needed projects that address the continuing challenges of the AIDS epidemic across the globe. In doing so, we also want to create beautiful and meaningful pieces for people to purchase that speak to the high standards of the Elton John AIDS Foundation and Lalique. I collect art, I love art, I love glass and I collect glass. Something artistic together with the message of the AIDS Foundation, which is to share the love and try and heal and educate as many people about the disease of AIDS as possible, it is a combination of bringing two big forces together. Creating cause-marketing products also helps EJAF to reach out to new audiences through special collaborations like this one. We are a very prestigious AIDS Foundation. We've been there for a long time now, there are not many of us left, but what we do is respected throughout the world and for people who come into a store and buy a Lalique piece that benefits the Elton John AIDS Foundation, they are doing so much good and I thank you all in advance for doing that.
How did you like the process of working with Lalique?
Well, I've have always loved glass and I have always collected Lalique, and so working with a company that is so famous and does so many beautiful “objets” is always very exciting. And I've watched Lalique go from being very traditional to incorporating the traditional with the modern, which I really love.
This process excited me, with the angel and the beautiful hearts, because it is a marriage of the past and the present. It has been an absolute pleasure to do this! It enthralls me because I love glass and I so love Lalique, that being part of this for me is very exciting, because I am a fan!
The theme of the pieces is ‘Music is Love'. Why do you think music and love have always been so intricately entwined?
Love is one of the primary forces that can unite us and bring us together despite our differences. Indeed, love shows us that the differences dividing us from each other are ultimately very superficial, that we have so much more in common than not. Music is a powerful medium for expressing all the many faces of love, and it is a participatory medium. Music draws us together. It is a universal language. We come together to make music, to listen to music, to share music. This is why I believe that music and love are synonymous, that music IS love.
Music is your passion and your most widely-known medium of expression. How have you found working in sculpture, particularly in crystal?
The process of artistic creation - whether for music or dance or visual art - arises from the same impetus, the same need to express thoughts, feelings, ideas. I found the entire design process for this project – from theorising, to working and revising with drawings, to realising the concept as a three-dimensional object - to be absolutely exhilarating. Working in crystal is fascinating, and Lalique crystal has an amazing way of constantly changing with light and shadow, the time of day... Such a beautiful, magical medium!
The finished piece is even more exciting and beautiful than I ever could have imagined. I'm completely thrilled with it and really looking forward to the auction in February 2016.
You're a collector of glass and crystal, and have a number of Lalique pieces in your collection. What is it that you appreciate about crystal and Lalique in particular?
For me, Lalique stands for craftsmanship, luxury and a strong tradition of devotion to the art of producing the highest quality, most beautiful objects using these materials. Lalique sets a standard of craftsmanship that is simply unparalleled in the world. I think glass is a much underappreciated art form. That is why I collect it and I love it very much and Lalique to me represents the Rolls-Royce of glass.
As an oral artist who makes music, the visual arts of glass inspire me when I write a song or when I play the piano, because every day I get up and I am surrounded by glass and a lot of Lalique. Subconsciously, it inspires me to do better things, I think.