Columbia Threadneedle Foundation supports portrait series ‘Masked’ for children’s charity

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24 leading figures in the arts, education, communications and law pose in masks to raise money for AT The Bus

Columbia Threadneedle Foundation, the charity of leading asset manager Columbia Threadneedle Investments, has announced that it is proud to support ‘MASKED’, a limited-edition series of portraits by award-winning photographer Joanna Vestey, to raise funds for UK children’s charity AT The Bus.

Launched today, MASKED features 24 leading figures in the arts, education, communications and law including Andrew Scott, Jenny Saville, Grayson Perry, Joy Labinjo, Dame Zandra Rhodes, Sir Philip Pullman, Krishnan Guru-Murthy and Baroness Amos, all photographed wearing masks. The portraits explore the theme of communication. Each sitter is shown in their own space, captured in a moment shared with Vestey abiding by the current lockdown regulation to stand two metres away.

AT The Bus is a charity delivering a school-based programme of art as therapy to young people aged 7-18. Aiming to raise £150,000, all proceeds from the sale of the MASKED limited-edition prints will support the vital work of AT The Bus.

Dr Juli Beattie OBE, Director Founder of AT The Bus, said: “Children and young people need support for their wellbeing, mental health and education, particularly during times of uncertainty and stress. AT The Bus delivers a therapeutic, educational intervention for those who need it most. It is a vital time for AT The Bus to support young people.”

Dr Mina Fazel DM MRCPsych, Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Oxford and Patron of AT The Bus said: “If there was ever a time to care about the mental health of the most vulnerable young people in our communities, it is now. Social isolation both as a result of lockdown and from the physical veil of a mask when in-person contact is allowed, is a particularly toxic blow for the mental health of our young people. With limited access to onsite learning in schools there is a strong likelihood that pre-existing behavioural or emotional problems are spiraling. The negative consequences of isolation are becoming increasingly apparent in research, leading to the full range of mental health problems, from increased anxiety and depression to higher rates of self-harm.”

Alison Jefferis, Head of Corporate Affairs at Columbia Threadneedle Investments and Chair of Columbia Threadneedle Foundation said: “As the pandemic continues to impact lives, we are committed to helping organisations like AT The Bus provide urgent support for those most in need. MASKED is both a statement about this time and a wonderful collaborative effort to support young people who may be finding it hard to navigate lockdown and other consequences of COVID19.  We have seen the positive impact of Juli and her team over several years and are proud to support the important work they do.”

MASKED sitters: Baroness Amos, Justin Audibert, Fiona Banner, Sir Harrison Birtwistle, Dawn French, Denise Gough, Krishnan Guru-Murthy, Baroness Helena Kennedy, Daniel Kidane, Joy Labinjo, Rich Miller, Cornelia Parker, Korky Paul, Grayson Perry, Philippa Perry, Sir Philip Pullman, Dr Janina Ramirez, Dame Zandra Rhodes, Jenny Saville, Andrew Scott, Juliet Stevenson, Camille Walala, Richard Wentworth, Paul Whitehouse.

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