Public arts visionary leads lecture at Liverpool School of Art and Design

LJMU welcomed Helen Marriage, the Co-founder and Director of Artichoke arts production company, to its first Luminary Lecture of 2022

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LJMU welcomed Helen Marriage, the Co-founder and Director of Artichoke arts production company, to its first Luminary Lecture of 2022.

Hosted virtually by Liverpool School of Art and Design, staff, students, and creatives from across the Liverpool City Region and beyond heard first-hand from Helen about imagining, negotiating, and staging mass public arts events.

Artichoke are producers of extraordinary live events and are no stranger to Liverpool after masterminding La Machine’s 50-foot-high mechanical spider for Liverpool’s Capital of Culture celebrations in 2008.

Dr Patricia MacKinnon-Day, Reader in Site Intervention Art, organised the guest lecture and was delighted to have Helen join the roster of incredible talents who have given talks since 2015.

“Helen’s talk gave a fascinating insight into her amazing achievements and projects over the years, with lively discussion and a great turnout from students and arts organisations and professionals across the country.”

The LJMU Luminary Lecture Series presents the work of leading practitioners in art and design for others to learn from their achievements and to discuss the far-reaching impact of their practice.

These lectures are open to staff and students as well as members of the public that usually includes people from LJMU partner organisations such as Tate Liverpool, Liverpool Biennial, Bluecoat and FACT.

The next online Luminary Lecture will come from Maddi Nicholson, Director of Art Gene, an international Centre for Arts and environment at 5pm on Wednesday 4 May 2022. Find out more about upcoming lectures and view previous presentations online.

One attendee at Helen’s lecture was Tim Buxbaum, an architect from Suffolk. Reflecting on Helen’s words he said: “It was inspiring to listen to Helen explain how she had been able to overcome any number of obstacles to make possible public events of even greater magnitude in London, Liverpool, and Londonderry. She spoke modestly, persuasively, and emotively, clearly an expert in her field, taking delight in bringing so much pleasure to so many people.”

Artichoke creates and produces Lumiere, the UK’s largest light festival, which has been staged in Durham every two years since 2009; in Londonderry in Northern Ireland as part of the celebrations for City of Culture 2013, and in London 2016 and 2018.

Level 5 Fine Art Student, Adaia Jennings, hopes to apply Helen’s limitless ambition to her own practice. “Helen gave an engaging talk that gave helpful insight into a different kind of art, theatrical performance. It was interesting to see art that wasn't limited by the white walls of a gallery. I know as an artist I want to explore beyond a gallery format. The lecture was memorable, and I can't wait to apply it to my practice.”

Find out more about studying at Liverpool School of Art and Design.  


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