Published: 09:04, 04 May 2021
| Updated: 09:25, 05 May 2021
A hidden cellar has been opened up by the owners of a popular gallery and now its rooms are just as much of an attraction as the art it showcases.
Richard and Sonja Taylor-Jones of Taylor-Jones & Son have just finished a three month-long overhaul of one of the least known underground spaces in Deal.
The basement venue in High Street has been sitting unused and out of touch with the town but has now come back to life.
The husband and wife team were granted planning permission in January and used the trading hiatus during the latest lockdown to have stairs put into the existing gallery.
This has opened up a huge expanse which includes Grade II Listed wine vaults.
The subterranean area was last used as The Dog House Restaurant more than three years ago. This was a commercial property in its own right previously accessed a few doors along the High Street.
Gallery owners Richard and Sonja Taylor-Jones said: “This has been a huge project for us and we have thrown everything at it.
"We’ve taken a huge risk, but we think it will pay off as the new space has a real wow factor that we believe can draw people to Deal from far and wide.
"We are kicking off with a huge group show, celebrating all the artists we represent.
"Watching people's faces as they come back upstairs has been so much fun. They’re so full of surprise that such a gallery can exist in Deal and we can’t wait for word to get out about this new reason to visit our wonderful town.”
Three large new rooms are decked out as a classic contemporary white art space - a brilliant contrast to the dark blue walls and gold ceiling on the now well established ground floor gallery which is opposite the Town Hall.
As well as gallery owner, Mr Taylor Jones is known a cameraman for BBC1's Countryfile.
He added: "One of the most exciting features are the old Georgian Wine Vaults.
"We have turned them into a sculpture tunnel and film room, creating a gallery that caters for a much more diverse range of works than anywhere else in the area.
"With more space we will be able to not only showcase all our regular artists' work - but also have exhibitions on at the same time for solo shows. This will give the town much more art to enjoy.