I set up my own studio and darkroom after leaving London. I looked into what was in the area and I found two in Bristol which isn't too far from me, but one was fully booked and not accepting new members, and the other wasn't open as much as I needed it.
As I am sure all creative people find, I have a sudden flood of creativity at the most random times and if I don't take advantage it is gone. I was constantly shooting work but just scanning it as I had no access to a darkroom, I had an exhibition and a publication in a magazine but no way to print my work unless I sent it off digitally. I felt like this was a waste; I was spending lots of money on film and developing but I was just going to have to print it digitally. I decided that I could rent out a small studio and convert it into a darkroom and studio for myself to use, but also for others to use as it is the only public one in the county (Gloucestershire).
It was vital for me and for my own work because as much as the final image is important to me, it is the process of getting there; it's developing the work from being on location or in the studio to finally presenting it. My darkroom has one enlarger and the space is just for one person to use, which is unlike so many darkrooms, but I've set it up in this way because I think it's important to be able to flow creatively without disruption, but also allow the space to be open and give the opportunity to experiment. I think that is so important in art to constantly push yourself to try new things. Also, for anyone wanting to get back into analogue, they don't have to worry about making any accidents because they are the only one in there at any one time.
My own work is so personal that this environment has given me the space to create it from taking the image through developing and printing, and then hand making my own frames. I will offering workshops in the new year which will be held on a one to one basis.
Please direct any queries or bookings directly to Grace via her email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Grace will soon be featured on the Photograd platform and we can't wait to introduce you all to her work!