Discovering Heritage through the Arts
Illuminated Arts develops community-centred arts and heritage projects that change people’s perspective, improves their sense of self, enhances their wellbeing and generates a sense of belonging and pride that benefits the whole community. By uncovering hidden truths and discovering lost knowledge, we enable people to learn from the past and help disperse the unspoken emotional burdens of our social history and heritage.
Melissa Jo Smith
Melissa Jo Smith is a visual artist, filmmaker, poet, writer and textile artist as well as an arts producer. She formerly worked as communications and development manager for a large international voluntary network, where she developed communications tailored and targeted to a variety of different audiences, managed projects and trained new NGOs in communications and business planning.
Eleanor is an experienced former civil servant who has worked across a range of policy areas, including small business development and grant funding, school sport, BBC funding and the creative industries, as well as HR and flexible resource management. Her skills involve policy development, project management and staff management; she runs her own holiday letting company.
Rebecca Cole-Coker trained in textile design at Chelsea School of Art, London and fine art printmaking at postgraduate level at Camberwell School of Art, London. Rebecca’s work is held in major international design and art collections, notably Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein and Victorias Secret in the USA, Harrods, Laura Ashley, Sanderson, Marks and Spencer, Next , John Lewis and the National Trust in the UK and has been successfully exhibited in major exhibitions internationally. Having established an international reputation in the textile industry as a designer of exquisite, contemporary florals, Rebecca Cole Coker returned to her first love as a fine artist exploring the dramatic qualities of plant forms using mixed media and exploring the relationship between present and past through the use of antique documents and textile fragments in her work.
Archana Ramaswamy is a trained dancer and an actor. She started training in Bharatanatyam from the age of 4. After her graduation in Computer Science she worked as a professional dancer for 4 years before starting work as an actor in theatre. Has worked in theatre since 1998 in various roles from acting, organising, programming, researching and to being part of a Prithvi Theatre festival's core team in Mumbai being in-charge of PR and Media. Has also appeared in a few significant TV and films in India. Since her move to the UK she has taken a little hiatus from performance and currently training to be an aromatherapist.