When Oportfolio moved from Fulham back to Putney in 2020, we decided to invest in the decor of our offices. We wanted to create a welcoming environment for our clients and staff.
We commissioned an interior designer to advise us on the floor plan, colour scheme and the fixtures and fittings. For those who have an eye for design detail, our signature colour is Inchyra Blue from Farrow & Ball. This aged blue grey is inspired by the naturally dramatic Scottish skies.
Most of the building work took place during Lockdown. It was a challenging project because of the limitations this imposed. Before we opened our doors for business, we decided that there was something missing. A finishing touch that would give the place a distinctive personality and set us apart from the rest.
Our interior designer introduced us to a local Putney artist, wildlife photographer Harry Skeggs. As soon as we met Harry, we knew his work was the answer. Not only were his images stunning, his ethos made a strong impression on us. Harry’s shooting style concentrates on the welfare of animals, and he is extremely passionate about conservation. His ultimate mission with his work is to highlight the impact of climate change on the animal kingdom.
We chose Harry’s piece Tooth & Nail for our consulting room and Long Live the King and Limelight for our reception area. When the images arrived, they were the cherry on top and we knew our offices were ready to unveil. This thankfully coincided with Covid-19 restrictions being lifted and we could reassemble our team and finally welcome clients to our new offices.
Harry’s images were a big hit from day one. They were a conversation starter, and our clients were immediately captivated by them.
In autumn 2021 we were approached by filmmakers Andy Paterson-Jones and Jerry Henman from FilmDuo to see if we would like to be one of the principal sponsors of a documentary, they were making about Harry’s forthcoming expedition to the Antarctic Region in early 2022. Nikon were already on board as a sponsor and Harry had teamed up with the World Wildlife Fund as a partner charity.
For us the answer was obvious, and we didn’t take long to decide that this would be a worthwhile project to support. One of Oportfolio’s core values is Teamwork: “By building strong communities and fostering sustainable practices, we’re working to create an environment in which people thrive and grow.”
We saw the potential to extend our team ethos from our office to the wider world, working with Harry, FilmDuo and self-shooting director Sam Hockley to produce a film which would leave a lasting impression.
We could use our social media presence to promote the film before, during and after the shoot. In addition, we had the launch night to look forward to in September. This would be an opportunity to dress up in all our finery, invite some VIP guests and head off to The May Fair Hotel in central London for the screening, followed by a short walk over to Clarendon Fine Art gallery on Dover Street to see Harry’s first solo exhibition titled: Beyond.
The expedition was not without its challenges. At the start of the trip the weather was unforgiving. However, Harry and Sam persevered. They journeyed from Antarctica to South Georgia and the Falklands, both carrying Z 90 cameras, courtesy of Nikon.
You can see their behind the scenes experiences in these two videos: Dare to Hope – Behind the scenes: Art & the Z 9 and Dare To Hope | Behind the scenes: Z 9 & documentary filmmaking.
FilmDuo planned the launch of the documentary in painstaking detail from early 2022 until launch night on September 9th. They worked with Harry, The May Fair Hotel, Clarendon Fine Art, Nikon and ourselves to ensure the night would be a success. However, what could not have been foreseen was that the Queen would sadly pass away on September 9th and this news would hit the airwaves 20 minutes before the film was screened.
The show must go on. The film was played, and it was well received. In a Q&A session with Harry, hosted by FilmDuo, the Queen’s passing was announced to the audience and her enduring patronage of the Arts was acknowledged.
Part Two of the evening followed as the cinema audience headed over to view the Beyond exhibition, which was a triumph. In addition to the key images from the documentary, Harry also showcased an amazing new image, Mists of Time, from his recent trip to Alaska.
You can watch the full documentary for free via Nikon’s YouTube channel.
For Oportfolio, sponsorship of this project has been an immensely rewarding experience. We have seen a local Putney artist that we believe in and support successfully raise his profile and reach a wider audience. Next time you are in our offices, we encourage you to take a longer look at Harry’s artworks.