Newly Extended Sakura Studio Gallery showcases all things fine and beautiful
A new business at Stonham Barns Park – one of Suffolk’s premier leisure, retail and holiday destinations – has acquired an additional outlet to bring the work of the finest artists and creatives from across Suffolk, Norfolk and Essex together to showcase it in one place. Sakura Studio Gallery opened in March this year at the booming retail village selling jewellery, figurative drawings, photographic prints, miniature sculptures and pargetting and earthenware pieces.
It is just eight months into its opening and the business needs more space to accommodate the growing number of ‘creative’ start-ups seeking a retail outlet to distribute their products. The business will now be running classes, workshops and exhibitions. The first one is booked for May 2024.
A skilled sculptural jewellery designer, Sakura Studio Gallery owner Albany Tripp (27) balances producing pieces sold under the brand Albany Tripp art with bringing up her son Kai who is just 2 years old. Her own artworks are focused mainly on sculpture and painting while other artists use different mediums to create a diverse range of artworks with makes for a balanced studio collection.
Says Albany, ‘I am optimistic and overwhelmed by the positive responses received already – and very excited going into our second year supporting and encouraging new artists in their creative pursuits.’
Living in Diss now, Albany grew up near Snape in Suffolk, a hub of local creativity. Says Albany, ‘Suffolk and Norfolk are bursting with creative talent and there are many hidden studio gems tucked away here. I knew that setting up a new studio to add to the selection would be a good idea but what has surprised me is how much the art community here supports each other. It’s not about competition – like it is in the cities – but collaboration which makes it work.’
‘I spent most of my young life visiting Stonham Barns Park. My Dad taught me how to use a camera and take photos of the owls and other birds of prey in flight there. It’s clearly a very popular family venue and it is just the place I thought would work for my new studio. I had taken part in some craft events as a trader and the idea of having a physical shop just came to me as a natural progression.’
Albany was born into art. Her grandfather used to paint and introduced her to the hobby while her Mum would sketch and draw, and her father taught her the basics of photography. Albany studied art in school and college and spent the last year volunteering at a gallery space called Octagon Contemporary Crafts in Diss.
She continues: ‘I guess I was born an artist! It has always been my go-to.’
‘My artwork is very much centred around Asian influences. It is sometimes delicate, subtle and romantic but it can also reflect the deep history and culture of the continent. I enjoy experimenting and seeing what comes from free thinking and the use of different art mediums. My pieces are all the product of my thoughts and feelings wrapped up in art. It really is all about diversity and the freedom to choose what to do on any given piece.’
Albany is part Indonesian and her partner is Filipino and so she feels a strong connection with South East Asia and its culture. Much of Albany’s work is influenced by South East Asia and East Asia. It features many sculptures of flora and koi paintings. The company’s logo is made up of three Sakura blossoms (Japanese Cherry blossoms).
Albany mostly sells direct to customers, but some sales have come from online buyers. It was while volunteering that she began to find her way around displaying her artwork and making things like miniature sculpting for jewellery. She then found her way to opening her own gallery space to sell her work and the work of others.
‘Stonham Barns Park has the right mix of artisan retailers to help guide me through the next stage in the development of the business. The other retailers are very welcoming. It’s all very exciting and I am hugely optimistic about what the future holds for me as an artist in Suffolk.’
For further information call Albany Tripp on 07859 093 855.
Other retailers at Stonham Barns Park include Aspal Antiques, Aspal Reclamation Yard, Stonham Garden Centre, Carters of Suffolk, Hemingstone Frames, Hot Tub Village, Ideal Interiors, Merit Sheds, Stonham Village Stores, Suffolk Bridal Outlet, The Beauty Barn, The Vintage Cellar, The Book Cellar and The Little Dance Barn. Among the most recent retail additions to the village are The Dogs Business, GG Trading Cards, Light by Night, Hobbs Hobbies and Eastern Pottery Supplies.
For more information about Stonham Barns Park please contact 01449 711901 or visit www.stonhambarns.co.uk