Grand Opening of Illuminate – The New Creative Space at Brightwell

PRESS RELEASE: Grand Opening of Illuminate – a new creative space with the first photographic darkroom in Suffolk available for public hire. 

Illuminate’s Grand Opening will take place on the 2nd & 3rd July at Brightwell Barns in Suffolk. Illuminate is a brand new creative space in Suffolk with the very first Photographic Darkroom for public hire in the area. The opening will allow you to explore the light and spacious photography studio, artist gallery, photographic darkroom and shop. 

Illuminate was created by photographic artist and educator Mikaela Rackham. After 8 years in teaching and 10 years running a photography business part time, Mikaela has followed her dream to create a space for all to learn, develop and experiment with their creative mediums. Whether that is someone who has just started their creative journey and wants to learn the basics, a student enhancing their skills, or a professional who wants develop their projects through experimentation and new processes. 

As you enter Illuminate you are greeted by the shop; this is a space for artists and creatives to sell their work as well as selling photographic film, analogue cameras, cyanotype kits, camera straps and much more. “The shop is there to support a wide range of creatives and sell equipment for others to be able to be creative too! We have a brilliant group of sellers: Concrete & Wax with their amazing candles, Dulcie Makes with her handmade paper hangings, The Shagrooms selling tuft wall art and cushions, Apricot Poodle selling prints of her beautiful illustrations, just to name a few.” 

The gallery at Illuminate encourages artists to share their work, whether that’s their first show or if they are well into their artistic career. The gallery has a monthly turnover of artists who can rent a wall space each month so there is always something new to see, the space is also available to be hired by a single artist or group. “My hope with the exhibition space is that artists gain the confidence in showing their work and as a photographic artist myself, I know it can be quite daunting so giving artists a smaller space to get a feel for exhibiting was important.” The artists exhibiting in the first exhibition called ‘Origin’ are Catalina Carvajal, Maria Clarke – Wilson, Matt Finch, Louise Craigie, Darren Beattie, Marie Soul and Christina Marie. 

Within Illuminate there is a photographic studio which can be hired by other photographers and is also the home of Mikaela Jade Photography. This was Mikaela’s first photographic business as a commercial photographer which she has been running alongside her teaching career, focusing on branding, weddings and portrait photography. More recently Mikaela completed an MA in Photography with Falmouth University, where she experimented with a range of processes and printed onto heartwood of Silver Birch using the liquid light technique, a process she will be offering as a workshop in the new space. “Completing the MA allowed me to gain confidence in my work and exhibiting, as well as the time to experiment and really consider the purpose behind my work. I met so many like minded creatives and gained so much from group feedback, I wanted to create that space permanently, sharing ideas and inspiring each other, hence Illuminate” 

The photographic darkroom is the first darkroom available for public hire in the area and will be using ECO friendly developing and printing chemicals. The space is equipped for both colour and black and white film processing and printing. The darkroom at Illuminate is available for hire for beginners to film photography, hobbyists and professionals. The aim is to create an inspiring and comfortable space for artists and creatives to learn, to develop and push the boundaries of analogue photography. 

The final element of Illuminate are the workshops and artists talks which will be offered. Mikaela herself will be hosting 1-2-1, group and evening workshops as well as offering a space for artists to come and share their practice. In the future Mikaela’s aim is for there to be creative meet ups held at Illuminate, along with summer workshops for children, and even art cinema evenings. “The aim of Illuminate was to create a space where all types of artists and creatives can come together, whether that’s a painter, sculptor or photographer, to share their skills and learn from one and other. Professionals can host workshops and share their artistic journeys and newbies can feel confident and comfortable in the creative space learning new skills.” 

Grand Opening – Saturday 2nd July, 6pm – 8:30pm & Sunday 3rd July, 10am – 3pm 

For more information, contact Mikaela Rackham at info@illuminatestudio.co.uk or 07875298702