In the beginning, the Earth was revealed: an immeasurable source of life. It overflowed with intensity, energy, and elemental contrast. Against the grandeur of the endless landscape, there rises proud, majestic volcanoes. New sources of life burst forth from the heart of the Earth. Vegetation grows in the newly rich soil, a perpetual miracle of nature.
Fusion d’Issey is the awe and respect inspired by the creative force of nature and the creative forces of the elements—it is setting off for new lands to adventure, discover, and explore.
An homage to these natural and physical phenomena, the new fragrance, Fusion d’Issey, seeks to capture their quintessence.
A CONVERSATION WITH MICHAEL LEVY, PHOTOGRAPHER AND CARTOGRAPHER
A specialist on Iceland, Michael Levy has been exploring the country since 2009. His work centers on wild and polar areas with a special focus on volcanic landscapes, geothermal areas, and sulfur coloration. In 2010, he created the publishing house International Photographer, the only publishing house in the world to offer a collection of geographical maps designed for travelers who love photography.
We asked him a few questions about his work and his passions.
- How did you become a photographer and cartographer?
When I was a kid, my grandfather would give me maps and a World Atlas every year for my birthday. On my night table there was a light-up globe that would figure in my dreams. When I was twenty, I bought my first camera and I began to travel the world, trying to capture the beauty of the Earth. Because I had done my degree in graphic design, I used to design maps for myself before setting of on road trips which included all the beautiful places I wanted to shoot and the best light to shoot in. In 2010, I decided to publish my maps and make them available to the public. It was an immediate success because no one had ever done it before.
- What do you like the most about your work?
Discovering, sharing, improving myself… It’s a never-ending story. You cannot be bored being a photographer. The best thing about making maps is exploring, which is probably also my favorite word.
- Iceland has a multifaceted landscape and is all about nature. How did you decide to focus on this country in your work?
I’ve always been fascinated by Iceland because it is unique in so many ways, probably because it’s positioned between two continents. Iceland is always changing, always moving. Here, it is easy to imagine the birth of the world.
- What do you like the most about volcanoes?
I’ve always been fascinated by volcanoes. They are beautiful, mysterious, powerful, and sometimes scary. In Jules Vernes’ famous book, “A Journey to the Center of the Earth,” published in 1864, the story focuses on Snæfellsjökul, an Icelandic Volcano. Another incredible fact about volcanoes is that one of the main causes of the French Revolution was the eruption of the Lakagigar volcano, located in the Iceland highlands, in 1782. The eruption was so strong and powerful that it lasted more than 2 years and the temperature fell dramatically all over the globe due to the particles and gases in the atmosphere, resulting in starvation in France which in turn triggered the French Revolution.
- Which is the most photogenic: stone, water, or lava?
Stone, water, smoke, lava…but also the amazing colors that you can find on Rhyolite mountains. The most colorful mountain in Iceland is called Mt. Brennisteinsalda which translates to “Sulphur Wave.” It is a Rhyolite mountain which was formed by volcanic eruption under a glacier during the last ice age.
- Would you say that there is a link between design and volcanic landscapes?
There is a deep link between design and volcanic landscapes. A volcano is a world in creation. Shapes, colors, textures, sounds, smells, solids, liquids, gases…all of these are in constant movement, mixing and fusing. There is no better inspiration for a designer.
RAUL CABRERA’S INTERPRETATION
Artist and architect Raul Cabrera has a minimalist and graphic style. He was invited to create artistic content for the new Fusion d’Issey scent by playing with shapes, materials, and textures. He sat down with us to tell us more about his inspirations. .
- What does “fusion” mean to you?
Fusion is the combination of different elements, qualities, or concepts to create something entirely new. I personally believe that everything in life is the result of fusion. Being exposed daily to many captivating images, sounds, scents, flavors, and spaces as well as all the other things that inspire us, naturally lead us to create something new. Every element in a composition is important in itself, but the final result depends on the right combination of all of them: thus, the fusion.
- What was your inspiration for creating this content?
The idea for this project came from the iconic Issey Miyake bottle—looking at the bottle as a design object—and from the elements that inspired the fragrance such as air, lava, water, and stone…I wanted to represent each of these elements with a different object and combine them to create a graphic composition, almost like an art installation.
- Have you ever been inside a volcano?
I’ve never been inside a volcano, but as a kid I was fascinated by the idea of seeing one. In my hometown, Caracas, there are stories about the existence of an old extinct volcano in our national park, Ávila. Even though it’s just an urban legend, I always looked up at the mountain to try to find it. Volcanoes can be very powerful and dangerous but they’re also evidence that the earth is alive and constantly changing.