'The Wind of Individuation' (2016)
"I have for much of my personal life been open to those close to me about my true self and in particular that I identify as gender fluid. For me, being gender fluid simply means that I choose to express in different forms – typically, I choose to express around half my week as Phil in my stereotypically male form of expression, and the other half of the week in my Pippa female form of expression.
I am privileged to have an amazing wife and children who I know love me unconditionally for who I am. It was however only later on in life that I felt the time right for me to be truly open, out and authentic about this innate part of myself within my corporate and work environment.
As part of my decision to become authentic within my corporate life, I felt it would be beneficial to capture the many facets of this decision - my
concerns, my challenges and my options – and to articulate these in the form of a single image. I also carry out lots of work in diversity and inclusion and often talk to large firms or charities on the importance of authenticity and LGBT equality and to educate people about topics such as transgender and non-binary identities. My hope is that I can act as an ambassador, guide and role model to so many others who are also looking for the courage, support or inspiration to become their full true self. I hoped a portrait created using Diogo’s storytelling approach could illustrate my story and help people understand different aspects of my experiences."
Talking to Pippa was a great experience, and she is clearly someone who has thought very deeply about her own experiences and how to express her truest most authentic self. I carefully considered what she had told me and came back with several different suggestions for concepts. Together we decided on the elements of the final portrait which has a fairy-tale theme, with elements of the Hansel and Gretel story.
"From our very first initial meeting when Diogo was trying to understand my own journey and how to visualise it, he always made me feel so at ease. He soon felt like not only a highly professional individual whom I could trust but also a good sincere friend who I had known for a long time. He has the ability to put you at ease even when talking about the most private of matters. I was genuinely blown away with the innovation that he showed. Having discussed my own journey, nuances, likes, challenges and all, he was quickly able to come up with some amazing proposals for images that would articulate my story. On the logistical side he could have not been more accommodating either – I struggle to find the time for work let alone additional projects and so he was always so able to facilitate meetings either where I wanted to or when I could make them.
Diogo has managed to capture so many of the key elements that we discussed in our meetings and fused these together into a cohesive yet powerful image. Everyone that I have shared this with has been so very impressed with how creative he has been with applying the concept to the image to portray the aspects I wanted to get across. To me and to anyone that knows me, my life and my journey, all the aspects of this image will resonate so perfectly. I am delighted with the amazing piece of art that Diogo has created."