Helen Marriage, Director of Artichoke, was Creative Director of Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture until Covid-19 struck. She tells Steven Hadley "I can quote any metric that you need in relation to any of our events, but none of that tells you what it feels like."
This conversation took place online on 28 May 2020.
STEVEN: I’d like to begin by asking you, which sector do you work in?
HELEN: I don’t really work in a sector. I think there’s a sector that doesn’t have a definition, and in my mind, it’s called non-aligned. And that is people who work on the margin. I don’t think in art form silos; I never really have. And I don’t think Artichoke sits happily in anybody else’s art form.
STEVEN: I’m interested to interrogate whether you see yourself inside or outside or non-aligned with the establishment that exists within the arts sector, or the creative industries?
HELEN: Me personally, or the company?
STEVEN: Both, I suppose. If they’re different, I’ll take two answers.
HELEN: Well, I sit on the board of the Arts Council, London as an individual, so am I in the establishment? I suppose that you might say yes to that. But this interview is not me as ACE London council member. These are my own opinions. Does Artichoke work within an established framework? Really not, and never has. So, if you look at the subsidised position, the Arts Council contribute 10% of our annual income. And we’re not earning money from anyone from tickets, or anything like that. We’re raising our own money to do the stuff that we do. And while the Arts Council support is very welcome, they don’t have a majority stake in the company or anything like that. I’ve never minded because I think being marginal or maverick is quite a strong position. For me, our work is about creating opportunities for artists to make things that are on a scale that they’ve never imagined possible. And putting that work in a context that allows it to speak to the broadest possible audience. And I don’t think there’s an Arts Council category for that... Keep reading on Cultural Trends