Issue 1: France From An Outsiders Perspective...

The concept of TOPIA came through the tension that exists between two words; utopia and dystopia. This work is an exploration of ideas through the tension of experiences that can make a person swing between a utopia and a dystopia type of thinking. The concept comes from the central idea that this work is one that is growing, the product you see today is merely the beginning, not the finished product.

This work is derived from my personal passion to travel. The idea of the exploration of another world is very intriguing to me and I know from personal experience how addictive finding and exploring a world that is different from the everyday can be. TOPIA is an opportunity to give my point of view from the passion of travel that I have. The point of difference being my experiences as an outsider, having a completely different experience from someone who is already immersed and familiar with that specific environment. I am a strong believer in the discoveries that can be found through a fresh perspective. This specific concept is also very familiar to me through my previous work, where often a new perspective is needed to bring my work to a level of completion. Therefore, through this aspect, this work is a very interesting subject to me.

This work is an attempt to capture a lifestyle, which is an ambitious task, achievable through discussing and acknowledging a varied amount of diversity. A lifestyle is not simply a way one lives their life, it is the way the travel, what they wear, how they feel, who they encounter, the relationships they interact with and the activities they undertake on a daily basis. As an outsider, it is even more difficult for me to completely encapsulate the entirety of a lifestyle I am not part of. However, from an outsider’s perspective, I am able to encapsulate some potentially interesting and different aspects of a lifestyle that people may not realize themselves.

The work is very minimal in its aesthetic style, yet there is a strength to the bold aesthetic that comes from the simplicity of black and white. It is a powerful work from a visual aspect, which I hope will help display my personal design style as well as the strength and passion I have with the places I visit as well as a longing to understand and be completely immersed in a lifestyle and environment. The photography can be both very generalized and very specific depending on the ideals I am attempting to communicate, and it is through my photography that I am able to bring a range of colours into this work. However, colour palettes are kept together with each photographic collection to bring cohesion into the work.

Overall, TOPIA is a brand that has the ability to evolve and develop as the project continues to grow. This conceptual aspect of this work is one of great importance and also excitement. There needs to be a continuation of a sophisticated aesthetic whilst also incorporating the excitement of exploration, both physical and conceptual as this work develops.

Gabriella Renee Xipolitos. Enjoy.