Fire-hit Northampton garage transformed into ‘urban art gallery’

A fire-hit former garage in Kingsley has been given an 'urban' makeover.
A fire-hit former garage in Kingsley has been given an 'urban' makeover.

A derelict outbuilding in a Northampton optometrists’ car park has been transformed into an outdoor gallery displaying ‘urban art’.

The former garage at Tompkins, Knight &Son Optometrists in Kingsley Road, Northampton was destroyed following a fire last year but has now been given a new lease of life.

Phil Harding, who sprays under the alias Im Bob, is hoping the area will turn into a community art space.

Phil Harding, who sprays under the alias Im Bob, is hoping the area will turn into a community art space.

Graffiti artist Phil Harding teamed up with staff to turn the building into a gallery space displaying eye-themed urban art, using spray cans and old roof tiles.

Mr Harding, who sprays under the alias ‘I’m Bob’ and has his work featured in Beer Guerilla and Island Vape in Wellingborough Road, Northampton, said the project could evolve into a community art space.

He said: “It’s fantastic to see an old building put to such good use and being utilised in such a fresh and innovative way.

"The TK&S staff have been brilliant and we’ll be putting their work on display.

“Hopefully patients will see it and enjoy it as they arrive at the practice and they could potentially have the chance to get involved themselves and have their own designs on the
walls.”

A wooden hoarding provided the ‘canvas’ for 36-year- old Mr Harding’s design, while staff members used former slate roof tiles to form their own designs.

These will be hung on the outside walls of the garage.

Brian Tompkins, owner of TK&S Optometrists, said: “It would have been easy to have written off the garage as a wreck after the fire but one man’s junk is another man’s treasure
and we saw an opportunity to turn it into something special.

“The charred brickwork has a real urban quality about it and the combination of graffiti and individual tiles works really well.

"We’re delighted with the end result and we had a lot of fun making it happen.

“It’s certainly a talking point and we’d love our patients to indulge their creative side and get involved too.”

For more information on Tompkins, Knight & Son Optometrists call 01604 714413 or visit www.tks-optometrists.co.uk