Helen Marriage is Artistic Director of Artichoke, which she founded with Nicky Webb in 2005. Artichoke is one of the UK’s leading independent production companies working to transform landscapes and expectations through its unique way of realising the ambitions of artists and the dreams of the public.
Over the last nine years Artichoke has produced some of the UK’s most talked about large-scale art events ranging from Royal de Luxe’s The Sultan’s Elephant,which saw central London come to a standstill with over 1,000,000 spectators,through Antony Gormley’s Fourth Plinth project One & Other, to Peace Camp made by international theatre director Deborah Warner and actor Fiona Shaw for the London 2012 Olympic Festival. Artichoke’s biennial festival celebrating the power of light, Lumiere, has become an international sensation, drawing visitors from across the globe to the wintry darkness of Durham.
Artichoke’s interests lie at the conjunction of art, politics, communication and transformation. By creating a platform for an artist’s most impossible ideas and inserting their work into the everyday life of society, Artichoke achieves high impact through massive unexpected disruption to daily life. This work has taken the company into an examination of the nature of control over the public domain and the ways in which our cities and landscapes can be re-imagined, if only temporarily. It is the company’s belief that while its transformation of the landscape is ephemeral, the transformation of the individual witness leaves a permanent legacy.
Helen was granted a prestigious Loeb Fellowship at the Graduate School of Design, Harvard, from 2012-2013.
Helen’s previous work has included a seven-year period as Director of the Salisbury Festival, which she transformed from a local event into what The Times described as a ‘miracle of modern British culture’. She was previously Director of Arts & Events at Canary Wharf for property developers Olympia & York, and an Associate Director of both the London International Festival of Theatre and Artsadmin.