our people

solange leon is the director and founder of artichoke, born out of her own child's request for art lessons and a serious absence of quality art lessons for younger children in Brighton & Hove. She focuses on the development of observational drawing and understanding of spatial concepts, rediscovering and representing the ordinary in a different light. Trained in Chile and the UK as an architect, she worked with LCE architects for many years and in public art projects with an array of local artists including designers, crafts people and artists. She now works independently on design, art, graphics, web and varied media. She tends to mix art as well as people -working with clients, artists and friends from all backgrounds. She has many years teaching experience & believes strongly in shifting education towards a creative, cross discipline creative process, using integrated arts as a platform. Solange also trained as a soprano opera singer for 4 years.
black and white photograph of Solange Leon solange leon
florence leon comes from an artist's family in Chile where she trained in Jacques Le Coq Style Physical Theatre. With several highly successful theatre companies, she has travelled around the world. Through her work, she has developed experience in means of expression with crafts, movement and mask-making. Of particular interest to her is incorporating physical movement with colour and painting in artwork, whether with adults or children. Under her direction artichoke won their category at the Springboard Festival, Brighton & Hove Youth Performing Arts Festivals, and the children were awarded the DAVID HENRY BLOOR Festival Shield for their jaw dropping performance. This spring (2010) she is directing Artichoke's 'SHOW OFF' at Brighton's Fringe Festival with Old Court Room Productions, and is collaborating actively acting and co- directing plays. She is currently widening her work with children from a disadvantaged background. She is an inspiring and entertaining teacher. She has a daughter of 7 years.
black and white photograph of Florence Leon florence leon
roberta young is a Goldsmith trained artist who has exhibited in London and Edinburgh. She works with ideas of transformation of materials and with the concepts of microscopic and macroscopic. She has a valuable source of experience and understanding of many sculptural materials, paint, and colour. She is our librarian and a solid and infallible support to our academic teaching solvency and resources. She is also a homeopath and is the mother of three children.
black and white photograph of Roberta Young roberta young
james de malplaquet is a Brighton-based musician, with experience gigging with numerous bands touring Europe and further afield, from Russia to the US. His own band, The Miserable Rich, released their debut album in 2008 to critical acclaim, following it up with an ep of covers in late 2009, and a second album in spring 2010. He is also a founder member of Brighton's Willkommen Collective, playing and recording in the band Shoreline and others. James studied English Literature at Exeter University and has many years teaching experience. He manages sound design and understanding of music for artichoke, focusing on the relationship between movement classes, materials and music as one body of study, allowing the children to discover the apparently invisible relationships between the arts.
black and white photograph of James de Malplaquet james de malplaquet

We benefit from the support and contribution of many world-renowned & local artists that join us for workshops addressing their discipline in particular. Special thanks to William Calderbank, Rhys Lovell and Helena Webb in music, Francisca de Iriarte and Leida Nassirpour in drawing and painting & Claire Hoskins from the architecture department of the University of Brighton for our end of the year exhibitions. We are all CRB checked and have vast experience with children and the Arts.

alex collings is a Human Sciences graduate with a holistic anthropological appreciation of humanity, imbuing her with a desire to spread her enthusiasm for questioning and understanding. She developed a passion for arts and craft-based playwork during her summers spent as a play coordinator in North London. As an assistant with artichoke art group, she is a patient and supportive teacher, helping to create an inclusive and creative learning environment for the children.
black and white photograph of James de Malplaquet alex collings
paul cemmick has worked as a successful freelance cartoonist for over 25 years. His work has appeared in many newspapers and magazines as well as on TV in such award winning shows as Spitting Image, Maid Marian and her Merry Men and 2DTV. He is currently producing comic strips for BBC Magazines. He feels that the art of cartooning is an ideal way to help children express themselves artistically as it is an ancient form of visual shorthand with the ability to communicate complex themes and ideas in a direct and simple way.
black and white photograph of Paul Cemmick paul cemmick
arabella stanger is a research student, writer and dancer. After training in classical ballet and contemporary dance techniques in London, she completed humanities-based degrees at Kings College London and Goldsmiths, where she is now based writing her PhD on contemporary choreography. Arabella is contributing to two forthcoming publications on choreographers Michael Clark and William Forsythe and is currently a visiting tutor to undergraduate Theatre courses at Goldsmiths. She is particularly interested in concepts of space in relation to choreography and movement, and has extensive experience working with children exploring dance, movement and theatre in both workshop and classroom contexts.
black and white photograph of arabella stanger arabella stanger
david curtis is a Brighton-based 3D designer and craftsman. Since graduating he has worked for Jam and other London practices, and following the design trail, his work has been exhibited in London, Hong Kong and New York. He focuses on design processes, materials and understanding of sculpture as well as light. He will be training as a teacher from September 2008.
black and white photograph of david curtis david curtis
lou murley is a Brighton-based designer/maker, working under the name Kazoo Design. She graduated with a degree in Art & Design, specialising in mixed media textiles. After returning to her homeland of Wales, she gained experience as a classroom assistant and working with childrenís community art groups and festivals - making costumes and sculptures, among many other things. Having returned to the South coast, Lou is currently designing and supplying bespoke artwork and soft furnishings to architects and interior designers for commercial interiors. Lou's main areas of interest are needlework, painting, sculpture and, especially, prop making - as it often encompasses all of these things. she has brought great enthusiasm to artichoke, telling us she loves volunteering with the art group as she finds the childrenís outlook and grasp of complex ideas inspiring, and really looks forward to seeing the work they produce each week.
black and white photograph of Lou Murley lou murley
xavier young is a commercial photographer dividing his time between his home in Brighton and studio in central London. Best known for still life work with luxury fashion clients his lighting and compositional flair have generated commissions from a wide range of advertising and editorial clients. He also takes portraits for commercial and personal projects and works with architecture and landscape. His work appears regularly in Arena, Esquire, Sunday Times and many other UK and European titles. Commercial clients include Fortnum & Mason, Liberty, Conran, Swatch and The Design Council. Xavier has 3 children who are in fact his favourite subjects.
black and white photograph of xavier young xavier young
sum yi wong was trained as a classical pianist in her native China to grade 8, before graduating with a BA (Hons) degree in Jazz from Leeds College of Music. She has a great interest in Latin and contemporary popular music. With experience of playing in jazz big bands, salsa bands as well as playing solo piano, Sum Yi teaches piano privately and enjoys helping students to find their confidence in playing, encouraging them to discover their own individual interest in music. As an assistant with the artichoke art group, Sum Yi aims to support creativity with classical music structure and theory, whilst encouraging children to create their own music.
black and white photograph of Sum Yi sum yi wong
andré lichtenberg is an award winning photographer (winner of the Travel Photographer of the Year 2006 - wild category and finalist of the Terry O'neil Award 2007). His work has been exhibited at the Barbican Centre, Photographers Gallery and the AOP Gallery in London, to mention a few. His images are regularly used worldwide as billboards, to illustrate book covers, as advertising and magazines such as Conde Nast Traveller, Tatler and Sunday Times Travel. André lives in Hove with his family and is always creating new personal work, currently working on a few new series including the "Full Moon Project".
black and white photograph of andre lichtenburg andré lichtenberg
bip mistry Born in Bradford, England, of Indian descent, Bip Mistry is a self-taught photographer based in Brighton. His first body of work consisted of photographs shot in India during the winter of 1988. This and subsequent trips to India became a part of an exploration into his cultural identity, and led to his first published work. This was followed by an exhibition at the National Museum of Photography, Bradford in 1990. His work has comprised numerous projects funded by the Arts Council, and local government bodies. The core of which consisted of photography workshops with youngsters and special needs groups. This led onto more projects with a multicultural approach and was mainly delivered in primary and secondary schools. He is now an international commercial and documentary photographer.
black and white photograph of bip mistry bip mistry
tom wichelow is a brighton based photographer/educator. His work ranges widely from commercial photographic work to working as a visiting teaching fellow at Brighton and Sussex Medical School. He trained at Brighton University on the editorial photography course and now works both as a photographer and as an educator with a broad range of students. Recent clients include the British Council, the photographer's gallery, the tower of london, adobe and the independent magazine. He is also the father of 3 children.
black and white photograph of tom wichelow tom wichelow
kandy ackland graduated from Goldsmiths. She became fascinated with the art of reportage whilst working as a wedding photographer in leafy Sussex. Influenced by magnificent photographic artists such as Diane Arbus, Martin Parr & Margaret Bourke-White, she focuses on the expression of subtle poignancies of human behaviour, often with a wink to humour. Her work involves reportage of events as varied as music festivals and gigs, current affairs and weddings. She has exhibited private works and had her work published. kandy is also a single parent.
black and white photograph of kandy ackland kandy ackland
matt wilson is a British born photographer currently making his home in Chile. He studied at the International Centre of Photography in N.Y. in the early nineties & became a touring music photographer in the USA in the Hip Hop scene, with artists such as Erika Baddu, Mos Def, The Roots, Wu Tang Clan, and Common. He moved to Chile 6 years ago & began working in the wine industry. In fact, though his landscapes, gastronomy, sports and travel photography are held in equal esteem, Matt likes to consider himself a portrait photographer above all else. His published books are "Chile Uncorked!" & "Chile: Country of Wine and Mountains". He works for clients such as Lapostolle, Casa Silva, O'Fourniers and Viu Manent and his work is regularly published worldwide in Wine Enthusiast (USA), Decanter (UK) and Epicuro (Chile). His work in the UK is with Cephas. You can keep up to date with Matt's current work on his on-site diary. Matt sponsors one of artichoke's shows for the Brighton Fringe every year.
black and white photograph of Matt Wilson matt wilson
clive ford was one of the original founder members of the Co-Active Theatre Company. His first short script And The Dish Ran Away with the Spoon was filmed by Mad Dog films and a series about Brighton life entitled Ravers & Fishermen, was picked up by Catherine Bailey Limited and developed for television. Since then Clive's credits have included Theatrical Love at the Wimbledon Studio Theatre, Friends Like Us at the Arts Theatre in Leicester Square and the short film Freed for Stonefish films and the BBC. Clive has recently completed an MA in screenwriting at the London College of Communication and directed his self-penned Mother's Day for the Brighton Festival. Motherís Day was subsequently adapted as a short film by Clive for Push the Envelope Productions. He is about to start filming on his second short Cold Call.
black and white photograph of Clive Ford clive ford
dirk engels is a maker currently based in Brighton. In his 15 years of international experience he has covered a range of skills such as set design, set building, industrial design, manufacturing, furniture making, interior decoration and bespoke staircase building. He specializes in the design, development, fabrication and installation of three dimensional objects/structures. Dirk is the 'master fixer' in any Artichoke installation or show. With an engineering mind that will not admit defeat he can literally resolve any technical, mechanical, electrical, or a problem of any given nature. His solid support and creativity are an invaluable contribution. Dirk also trained as an actor and worked in advertising, and is a fantastic dancer. He is father to his 14 years old daughter.
black and white photograph of Dirk Engles dirk engels
marie foucray is a young and very determined artist. Her main interest is exploring the relation between sonic and visual arts and is currently studying at the School of Arts and Media of Brighton University. As an assistant for artichoke artgroup she enjoys supporting the team as much as the children, and has a chance to develop further her curiosity in many subjects. Marie is also a very talented fashion enthusiast and sews beautifully. She loves dancing.
black and white photograph of Marie Foucray marie foucray
ali may studied Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies at Roehampton University before completing her post graduate qualification in Drama Education at Edinburgh University. Since then she has gathered a variety of experience teaching Drama to both primary and secondary students, up to A level. Amongst other specialist areas, Playwriting has been a focal point of Ali's practices. Since winning an 'Award for Excellence at Higher Education' for her play 'The Living Room' she has continued to write and teach Playwriting within schools. Ali's experience also includes performing as both actor and dancer since a very young age. Ali is currently working closely on a number of different projects and performance with Artichoke Artgroup.
black and white photograph of Ali May ali may
persephone pearl has been working as an artist and teacher for over a decade. She combines a passion for theatre and circus with a fascination for ecology: her achievements range from an MSc in Environmental Policy to Best Female Performer at the Prague puppetry festival. As an aerialist and theatre practitioner, she performs in a wide range of contexts, collaborating with other artists of a range of disciplines. She tours regularly with the Insect Circus. An experienced qualified teacher, she has taught aerial, puppetry, art and theatre skills to learners of all ages and abilities, as well as teaching academic subjects including literacy, media studies, and learning for sustainability. Contexts range from therapeutic drama and art projects, to circus schools, festivals, universities, SEN and primary schools. Her current focus is on exploring and developing truly inclusive arts projects. Persephone recently completed an MA module in Ecopsychology and is researching the potential for ecological transformation through performance practice.
black and white photograph of Persephone Pearl persephone pearl