Beyond the Desk Exhibition set to inspire Liverpool’s leaders of the future

Photography production company, Sane Seven have announced the first instalment of a two-part project launching in Liverpool in line with the International Festival of Business. Some 30,000 visitors, as well as city’s residents and guests, will be treated to an outdoor photography installation showcasing unique portraits of 34 of the North West’s most influential and successful business minds, produced to inspire the business pioneers of tomorrow.

Beyond the Desk uses unique portraiture to break the traditional stereotypes we associate with business leaders, aiming to bridge the gap between established leaders, aspiring entrepreneurs and young people entering the world of business. Portraits include Sir Terry Leahy, Steve Morgan, Judy Halewood, Sir Michael Bibby, Peter Moore, Ian Ayre and many others respected individuals.

Asif Hamid by Sane Seven

Asif Hamid by Sane Seven

Marius Janciauskas, an initiator behind the project says: “It can be overwhelming to look up to business leaders like the ones featured within Beyond the Desk, some of whom have built over 80,0000 houses, boasted revenues of £60bn, appeared in South Park, won FA Cups, headed Rolls-Royce and Bentley Motor Cars, turned Tesco into the international giant as we now know it, survived Xbox’s ‘Red Ring of Death’ and made it onto the Rich Lists.

“The purpose of Behind the Desk is to invite people to reflect on their own goals and potential by showing that behind all those numbers and titles, business leaders are the same humans with real emotions, hobbies, interests and stories that are not too dissimilar from those that many start-ups are just beginning to tell.”

On capturing the business leaders, Portrait Photographer Viktorija Grigorjevaite comments: “We knew that in order to capture the attention of a younger audience, we would need the portraits to be quite unusual and unexpected. A perfect example is the portrait of Asif Hamid, CEO of the Contact Company. Initially, we talked about horse races but the idea quickly evolved into a Wild West-like scene with a beautiful horse by his side as a distant reference to his interest. We kept him in his suit to create a seemingly incompatible relationship with the environment, which is fuelled by the stereotypes that most of us have.” 

Marius Janciauskas, an entrepreneur himself added: “It can be helpful to have a role model, a mentor or even just a reference point to remind yourself that you don’t have to be a robot to succeed. I hope this project will spark a more adventurous attitude in people encouraging them have more faith in their ability to learn and venture into the unknown chasing their own goals in life.”

Peter Moore, Chief Competition Officer of Electronic Arts, whose career started in Liverpool before he become a public face of the multibillion-dollar gaming and entertainment company, adds: “It’s both an honour and a privilege to be featured in this unique and innovative showcase featuring business leaders in usual settings and environments. My hope is that it provides inspiration to young entrepreneurs to follow their dreams and drive towards success.”

The second instalment of the project will see the leaders share their experiences, self-reflections and observations in £10bn Career Guide. The books set to be unveiled later in 2016 will be donated to colleges in the UK to provide some real life advice for young people furthering their prospects in life.

Beyond the Desk will be exhibited from 17th June to 5th July in Liverpool ONE near Hilton Hotel and outside Liverpool Lime Street Station.

Jenny Stewart by Sane Seven

Jenny Stewart by Sane Seven

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