It seems a while ago now that I first sketched out this idea. I initially thought I was creating a logo, after many years working alongside some great service designers, but… as time has come to pass I’ve realised that actually what I wanted to share – and celebrate through imagery - was not a logo, but a vision. A vision is not designed, rather it emerges over time, in my case by listening to others and through personal experience and reflection.
So what is the story behind this vision?
In 2014, while still working in government, I attended a Mental Health Conference as a ‘Professional’. It was at this event there was a performance by an incredible young singer Natalie who had faced and was overcoming her own challenges by finding her voice - her own expression of self - in a way that was breathtaking.
There are a few things that clicked into place that day. Once you start meeting and understanding how people – myself included – have learned to live through traumatic conditions, accidents or illnesses which affect how their brain works day-to-day; how we think, see, feel and experience with heightened perception, a new world opens.
On that day I walked out the building and took a quick snapshot of a bird flying overhead. But when I looked at the photo it was not a single bird, it was the bird and its shadow. The camera had caught something that in our ‘reality’ arguably was not possible, yet in my mind, the image of this bird and its shadow stayed absolutely stuck in my head.
Over the coming weeks it brought to the fore all of the other images of birds that I’d been seeing in the art and stories of freedom, from incredible people who I’d met over the years who’d defiantly chosen to LIVE despite the challenges and struggles they faced daily.
People who have found freedom in their own minds, expressed through their art, by believing in their own and others’ imagination and potential. At that time, this resonated personally with my own need to rid myself of the invisible boulders I was carrying on my weary back, day in, day out from a yet-to-be-diagnosed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after the birth of my son. It was this yearning for freedom – a freedom of spirit – that inspired the humanKINDER vision.
I knew this moment was important, but not yet certain how, or what form that it would take.
In the following months I talked to friends and played around with the image. My friend Joshi told me about a friend of hers who was also drawing birds. And this was how the early conceptual idea was shared with the hugely talented This Lakshmi who transformed the image into a beautiful, strong and timeless vision of freedom that inspires everyday.
Emma Barrett Palmer, Founder