Heart of Glass - Elton John Music Is Love for LALIQUE

Heart of Glass

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Elton John Music Is Love for LALIQUE

Multi-Grammy award winner, CBE, legendary pianist, philanthropist, rocket man… now artisan. Sir Elton John unveiled this week that he still has many tricks up his sleeve, showing off his sparkling new creative venture

Sir Elton John and Lalique CEO Silvio Denz invited a very discreet group of 20 journalists to a press conference this week. Serving afternoon tea in he and David Furnish’s Windsor home and offering a first glimpse at Elton’s twinkling 7 piece extremely limited collaboration of crystal pieces he himself has designed with luxury glassmaker Lalique, for the Elton John Aids Foundation. All decadently set, against the backdrop of his own astonishing private personal collection of contemporary art.

Elton’s collection entitled ‘Music is Love’ is due to raise a hefty set of proceeds for The Elton John Aids Foundation. With 3 pieces being available to the public via Lalique as of today and the following 4 ‘very very special items’ awaiting to go under the hammer, where else…but the ‘City of Angels’ of course. During the 88th Oscar Academy Awards in 2016.

Elton John Music Is Love for LALIQUE

Speaking of the design process Elton comments “I don’t think I can begin to express how proud I am of this wonderful project because I don’t think I have ever seen a more beautiful piece of crystal then our final piece, the large Angel. To be associated with such a lovely transcendental work, and to have a hand in designing it has been a very rewarding experience. It’s absolutely breath taking.”

Since beginning in 1992 the Elton John Aids Foundation has made a tremendous contribution to the fight against aids. Raising well into the 100 millions. The multitude of medical achievements and services such as injections, and treatments which the EJAF has provided to those coping with the virus is outstanding. But what about the stigma surrounding HIV survivors and the ignorance that still has to be overcome.

Tracy Kawalik:“Whilst there is no question how much you yourself have personally contributed and the EJAF, do you think we still have a ways to go before we break the taboo and strengthen understanding and acceptance for people living with HIV, and those you still don’t get it?”

Sir Elton John: “Yes, thank you. Sadly the stigma is the hardest thing we face. Not only the people who don’t understand, but the fact that there’s still people out there that are afraid to be tested. Especially in African countries, the Middle East and in India because of the shame the surrounds the disease and the sexuality involved. The Elton John Aids Foundation puts a lot of money into programs for advocacy that help people with that stigma. We want people to get tested so that we can begin treatment, deal with that and take the shame away. From there we can make it clear that even if you have HIV, you still have a great future, and we can help you to live a normal life. We’re doing a lot in South Africa and Zimbabwe to help people get back to normal life, get jobs, and live again. You know its so so important. The stigma is still our biggest enemy.”

What about the Transgender community. Since the rise of transgender in the mainstream news has there been an influx of trans members who have connected with the EJAF? “In the United States we are one of the leading transgender organisations. We’ve have always greatly supported the transgender community.”  REM frontman Michael Stipe and Sir Elton John recently advocated and this week won the release of trans prisoner Ashley Diamond from Georgia State men’s prison who was suffering constant abuse and had been segregated unnecessarily. Elton speaks “So yes our Trans members are growing and we are ever more aware and protecting these people who are greatly segregated and discriminated against on the outside world and within prison. I mean if Caitlin Jenner got sent to prison for a hit and run is she going to get sent to a man’s prison or a woman’s prison” One can only think of what would happen to her in either!!!

At the end of the day that’s why were all here. Not to talk about the Kardashian’s but to view the collaboration and hear Elton’s message about peace and love. The collection shaped and centered around music notes, hearts and a grown up version of the crystal cherubs which Elton and Lalique first designed nearly 2 decades ago with their last collaboration together, however now adorned with a gold wedding band.  Embodying his love of angels and music and hope that each piece will spread peace and acceptance  “I think in the world we live in today, a sign of peace is a necessary thing. We live in a mad world at the moment. If this can make people think a little bit about peace, love and harmonious living through a beautiful object of glass, then we will have done a good job. ”

I ask ” Is there a particular piece you and David will be keeping for your home?” Looking to David Furnish for back up Sir Elton answers “Whoa. ha!  I like all of them. I won’t be buying the large Angel because it will be far too expensive! But I’ll probably buy each of the other ones. It has been such a great experience so I would be a nice momento and also by buying one I’m also contributing to the Elton John Foundation. I’m already a huge collector of glass and crystal. I think we have about 4 or 5000 pieces scattered around the world and I’m a big fan of Lalique. So yes we will be buying some. But not that one! ha” 

While the final reserve has not yet been confirmed. Online luxury auction house Paddle 8 give way that reserve set for the small pieces would be somewhere near £30,000- £35,000 and £150,000-£160,000 for the larger. However Sir Elton was quick to  add that those reserves are a very modest starting point “I’d buy the large Angel for £150,000. We’re hoping for much much higher than that!”

Elton John ‘Music is Love’ can be purchased at
www.lalique.com
For information, to donate or bid in the online auction visit
www.ejaf.com
www.lalique.com

 

Words by Tracy Kawalik and Sir Elton John

Photos by Tracy Kawalik and Lalique

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