Shirley Jenner is the owner of Gallery 35. Forty five years ago she began her creative career in the fabrics industry by opening Bell House Fabrics in Cranbrook. The venture was extremely successful, beginning with dress fabrics from discontinued stock and eventually moving towards furnishing fabrics. After 30 years she passed the company onto her son, who owns it to this day.
Owning and renting out the shop space of Gallery 35 for a number of years, Shirley decided it was time to run something for herself again, and having always been interested in art, Gallery 35 was born!
Shirley’s creativity continues to be very important to her, being an avid painter and seamstress, in fact you can see some of her paintings in the gallery. If you get a chance, do ask her about her paintings as she has special anecdotes for each one!
Polly Bennett is the gallery manager. After spending eight years in London studying fine art and decorative surfaces at City & Guilds of London Art School, and working in the decorative industry, Polly’s love for nature drew her back to Kent.
As an artist her art practice is environmentally-based, collecting material out and about to transform into tactile, mixed media pieces. She is also a lover of traditional techniques and owns a company selling natural artist pigments and inks, made by herself from earth and plants.
At Gallery 35, Polly is keen to create a friendly and inviting space for artists/makers and people interested in art to meet and get to know each other. You might find her weaving away or gilding on paper in the gallery. Being an art teacher, she’s always thrilled to demonstrate techniques, so don’t hesitate to ask her any questions!