London artists donate blue themed work to raise money for mental health charities

The London Eye was just one of the Capital’s landmarks to be illuminated blue earlier this year by entertainment industry workers to support colleagues and promote mental health awareness. 

The team behind #LightitBlue have now joined forces to become #MakeitBlue, a collective of creatives affected by the pandemic who have organised an affordable art auction featuring some of London’s most acclaimed and emerging artists, illustrators and photographers.

A collection of blue themed pieces by 60 London artists such as Mark Quinn, Paul Bonomini and The Connor Brothers will be auctioned online from 1-6 and 8-13 December to raise money for mental health charities.

Those charities will be Samaritans and Stagehand – the Production Services Association Welfare and Benevolent Fund.

Director of #MakeItBlue 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.”

The Connor Brothers, who in 2019 broke world auction records raising funds for mental health, have donated a hand-coloured pigment print of one of their iconic works: ‘Extraordinary People’.

Mike Snelle, one of the artists known as The Connor Brothers, said:  “We’re pleased to be able to support #MakeItBlue, whose causes are close to our hearts.

“During what has been an impossibly difficult time for many people during the COVID pandemic, mental health support has been more in demand than ever. 

“We applaud organisations like #MakeItBlue who recognise the difficulties people are currently facing, and who have decided to make a difference.”

BLUE: Iconic artwork ‘Extraordinary People’ by The Connor Brothers Credit: The Connor Brothers

The featured artworks range from oil on canvas and watercolours to limited-edition photographic and digital prints, spanning a spectrum of market values from £30 to £5,000. 

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. 

“Our huge thanks to Make It Blue 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.”

The #MakeItBlue silent online auction will be managed by the National Funding Scheme’s DONATE platform and will be live for viewing and bidding from today.

You can find the link here.

You can also read about the charity organising Christmas walks to raise money for veterans with mental health issues here.

Feature Image Credit: #LightitBlue & #MakeitBlue

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