Creative event professionals are among 60 artists to have donated works for two consecutive online auctions organised to benefit mental health charities.
A collection of blue themed pieces created by acclaimed and emerging artists, as well as set designers and event photographers are being auctioned from 1-6 and 8-13 December to raise money for Samaritans and Stagehand – a charity providing welfare support to people in the live events industry.
The featured artworks range from oil on canvas and watercolours to limited-edition photographic prints and sculpture, spanning a spectrum of market values from £30 to £4,000.
Robin Elias, who manages Unusual Rigging’s NRC Assessment Centre has submitted ‘Rigger@Work’, a print on canvas. Antony Cook, Business Development Director at crewing firm Gallowglass donated three artworks: ‘Jimi Plays the Blues’; ‘Turmoil’ and ‘Got to Keep Going’ – all inspired by the current state of the industry. Project manager and rigging consultant Marcus Exelby donated ‘Hunter’s Moon’ an original painting using watercolour ink and charcoal.
The first 30 artworks are available for bidding on the National Funding Scheme’s DONATE platform here until 22.00 hrs on Sunday 6 December. A further 30 pieces will be auctioned from 8-13 December.
The auctions have been organised by not-for-profit organisation MAKEITBLUE CIC, the fund-raising arm of #MakeItBlue, a campaign started by the UK the events and entertainment industry to support colleagues in need and promote public mental health awareness.
Mike Lowe, Chair of the Stagehand Board of Trustees said: “Thousands of sound and lighting technicians, stagehands and other behind-the-scenes events professionals have no work and no prospect of income while concerts, festivals and other live productions are on hold. They are understandably experiencing extreme financial and emotional distress and Stagehand are offering and will continue to offer vital support to these people in the months ahead.
“Our huge thanks to MAKEITBLUE and to all who participate in the auction for helping us to help the live events industry workers who are in desperate need of support.”
MAKEITBLUE Director, Tom Rees said: “We’ve been told that in the first three months of the first lockdown, Samaritans provided support over half a million times to people struggling to cope. One in four of those calls were from people specifically concerned about Covid-19.”
“Samaritans tell us that Covid-19 has affected every one of their callers in some way, even if it wasn’t their main reason for calling. Isolation, mental ill-health and unemployment are recurring concerns.”