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Lola Karimova-Tillyaeva is deeply passionate about the environment. Together with her husband, Timur Tillyaev, she is determined to raise the profile of one of the most pressing ecological issues we face – that of water scarcity. Lola Tillyaeva realized early that to stand out in the saturated global news cycle she would need an innovative approach. Her solution was to turn to art. As she explains, “I believe that art has an incredible capacity to inspire, encourage and unite people around a cause, due to its ability to touch the human soul. That is why we harness the power of art as a means to raise public awareness of issues relating to global warming and climate change.”
Standing 12 meters high and bulging to 6 meters at the base, The Droplet is a gleaming, graceful work of highly polished aluminum tubing. A stylized droplet of water, it is a free-standing installation designed to shroud itself in a fine vapor mist – “a unique multisensory art installation.” It’s also a guaranteed showstopper. The work of artist Marcos Lutyens and fabricator, Scott Froschauer from the Institute for Art and Olfaction, it never fails to turn heads anywhere it goes – which, after-all, is the whole point. As Lola Karimova-Tillyaeva says, “by engaging the participants through sound, smell and touch as well as visually, The Droplet naturally opens the way for discussions on water conservation and management.”
Lola Tillyaeva´s affinity with this resource is profound. For instance, her maison de parfum, The Harmonist, is built around Feng Shui and its philosophy of balancing the energies of Earth’s five elements. Her concern for the Earth is also demonstrated in her business model. Lola Karimova-Tillyaeva insists on creating the smallest possible ecological footprint. To that end she ensures that, “recyclable materials at every possible touchpoint, from perfume bottles and deluxe packaging to the vegetal wax candles.” Also, every product across the range has refills available to lessen the need for extra packaging. In this way she proves that sensibility to the environment need not come at the cost of best practice.
That water scarcity is a serious risk to the global community is evident by the fact that the UN makes it a first order priority. It is a challenge which impacts every continent. Indeed, “some regions are even reaching the limit at which water services can be sustainably delivered” Major conflict can also result from the problem. Termed, ‘water conflicts’, they are an increasing feature of international relations.
After a successful launch at a major event in Paris, The Droplet will now tour other European cities such as Barcelona. It has proved to be a great talking point. At every stop it encourages debate and inspires action. A subtle, eye-pleasing means of opening hearts and minds to a growing problem, it’s also a manifestation of Lola Tillyaeva and Timur Tillyaev’s deep commitment to a shared goal of, “respecting the environment with every nuance of their activity.”
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