C U S T O D I A N S  for  C O V I D

9 – 30 November



“The performing arts need to be saved now. Not next week, or next month. If they die, an ecosystem this intricate and evolved cannot be rebuilt from scratch”. Sam Mendes, Film and Theatre Director

We are delighted to help support the fundraising initiative ‘Custodians for Covid’ set up by Oxford-based photographer Joanna Vestey and collaborator Tara Rowse in order to raise funds for threatened arts institutions. It’s first edition focuses on raising money for theatres currently in crisis due to the Covid-imposed lockdown. This includes world renowned theatres such as The National Theatre, The Roundhouse and the Young Vic. The second edition prints will be released online, one photograph or institution a day, twenty two venues over twenty two days.

Vestey has produced a collection of 22 photographs, each featuring an affected London theatre, portraying the ‘Custodian’ who is charged with its care during this time of crisis. The photographs are being sold in limited editions to raise funds for each theatre. The target is to raise £1million in charitable donations for the 20 London theatres, amounting to £50,000 per theatre.

Each image in the series features an iconic theatre space in which Vestey has highlighted a ‘Custodian’. The Custodian’s presence brings the setting to life and celebrates the often-unknown role of the guardians who continue to maintain these institutions. The series explores themes such as heritage, stewardship, identity and preservation, which feels even more poignant given the isolation so many are currently experiencing and the uncertainties so many face.

Joanna Vestey PhD is an award-winning photographer living in Oxford. She has published five books to date and has been commissioned by clients such as The Times, House and Gardens, The Financial Times and Elle Decoration. Her work is held in several collections including the National Portrait Gallery, London and she has recently completed her PhD at the European Centre of Photographic Research in Cardiff.


About the project

Each image is available at 50 x 60cm as a signed, archival pigment print in a limited edition of 250 for £200. The theatre featured in these images will receive £193.75 in total for each print sold.  £45.00 will go towards print, production and postage costs and include associated VAT.

There is also one large scale 105 x 130 print of each image. Please enquire about availability. 100% of the profit topped up with Gift Aid from the sales goes collectively to the theatres.