Community at Art Squat


We are a community of people, volunteering together to support the development of art and artists. Our community consists of Trustees, artists, supporters, space donors, local volunteers and designers. If you want to be involved in ArtSquat, contact us via our e mail address and we’ll be in touch.

Helen Brown: Chair and Founder of ArtSquat.

I’ve spent a number of years in the international and UK charity sector, focusing on health, disability, emergency response and access to education. I am passionate about encouraging local talent through community based art. Walking around my home area of Leith I saw space available in cafes, galleries and shops which could be used by artists without funds or contacts. I decided to start ArtSquat using a donation from my late mother, Margaret Ann Gillespie, who dedicated her life to supporting people in her own community. My aim is to enable artists on low income to develop, exhibit and sell their work in available local space – giving them the confidence to know they can succeed. ArtSquat will also engage with established artists and charitable groups to promote creative work for community benefit.

Rob Barclay: Trustee

I have a passion for art, which is eclectic to say the least. I enjoy pre Raphelite, renaissance, modern Scottish colourists, pop art and neo classicism to name but a few and this ensures I am always looking for exhibitions of new and old works. I love to see aspiring artists being given an opportunity to showcase their work to a new, wider audience.

When I’m in a new city or country I find time to visit galleries and have been privileged to have seen exhibitions in New York, Singapore, Lisobon, Shanghai, Toronto and London – as well as my home town of Leith.

Sandra Brown: Trustee

My career has been spent helping to bring about lasting change in local communities. I firmly believe in people power and will use my experience of community development, providing grass roots funding, lobbying and influencing local and national politicians and decision makers to support ArtSquat’s long term ambitions.

Julie Wood: Trustee

I have always enjoyed being creative, visiting galleries internationally, seeing artists’ studios first hand and collecting original and diverse art work for my own home.

I am committed to supporting Artsquat’s growth, in offering opportunity for aspiring and undiscovered artists’ work to reach an admiring audience or market.

My professional background is in programme management, delivering large scale projects mainly in the public sector. I plan to bring my project governance and financial management skills to my role as a Trustee.


Carl Whetham

Carl is an established freelance photographer based in Tbilisi, Georgia. Carl is supporting the development of ArtSquat by hosting an exhibition for our launch event and donating profits from his photographs to the Nepal Scotland Association and post recovery projects in Nepal.

For me, photography has always been more than simply taking pictures. I use my camera as a tool to help me explore the world around me in greater depth, and as a means to engage with people – to discover more about humanity’s cultural diversity, and to empower others to tell their own stories in their own words.

Rachel Stewart

Rachel is a freelance illustrator based in Edinburgh. She collaborates with artists worldwide and is a fierce advocate for skill-sharing and storytelling, believing everyone has a tale to tell. She works as a personal historian helping individuals, families, and communities preserve their life stories.

Rachel’s illustrations have recently taken to the stage in support of the charity, Haven. Her donation of “bold, simple black and white, powerful illustrations” (Jeanné McCartin, were animated as stage projections for Shelter: A One Billion Rising Event performed at The Music Hall, Portsmouth, New Hampshire in February 2018.

She is currently working with The Gambia Project, in collaboration with Alla Leake Kunda Drum School and The University of Edinburgh’s Music In The Community students, as part of the design team for their upcoming project, The Tin Forest.

Rachel launched her business in 2017 with guidance and support from The Prince’s Trust Explore Enterprise Programme and is being mentored by Roger Candy.

Leamne Arias Deniz

Leamne’s artistic career started in Puerto Rico with a collection of watercolours and collage postcards. She participated in ‘Bravas’ an exhibition for International Women’s Day and ‘Art against bullying’ at the Abraham Lincoln school. Leanne’s’ urban sketches represent her vision of a world full of hope, texture and different shapes. Leanne was supported by the Prince’s Trust and is looking forward to developing her artistic enterprise.

Kishor Dangol

Kishor Dangol began his career as a photojournalist in Nepal in 1991 and lives in Kathmandu. He spent 12 years working in Scotland as Chairman of the Scottish Nepali Council and as a translator. He was active in raising awareness of environmental issues and regularly volunteered for beach cleanups, promoting the beauty of the Scottish landscape through his photography.

Kishor’s photography brings attention to matters of social justice and fosters links between people of different backgrounds. His work features in our Spirit of Kathmandu exhibition as the people of Nepal faced the most destructive earthquake in recent history.


Ray Fong: ArtSquat website designer

Ray is an Edinburgh born designer with over 10 years designing websites. He currently works for VisitScotland as their Digital Experience Assistant Manager. You can read more about Ray on his portfolio –

Reidh Michael: Website Photographer

Reidh is an experienced photographer, studio manager and photography teacher.

Robin Browne: ArtSquat logo designer

Robin leads the Young Ambassador progamme at The Prince’s Trust, recruitment for St John Ambulance and designs creative brands in his spare time.

Coburg House

Coburg House hosted our launch exhibition in August 2018 and is continuing to collaborate with ArtSquat by providing space for our October exhibition with Prince’s Trust young artists. The gallery and studios are home to an eclectic group of artists and crafters, who have a reputation for excellence and a commitment to the development of community art.



The Edinburgh Art Book

We are proud to be promoted by The City Art Book Series, with Artist and Editor Emma Bennett, who is launching The Edinburgh Art Book in 2019. For information please see:


We will be seeking volunteers and Trustees over 2018 who are passionate about the vision, have an interest in community enterprise and the arts, in developing start ups and in fundraising / financial management. If you are interested contact us with an expression of interest.