Belfast Telegraph

Illustrator creating works of art from dereliction


Northern Ireland's false shop front phenomenon has created a growing business in its own right.

Graphic designer Nathan Jarvis is one of many professionals who have been tackling the derelict eyesores at the request of local councils.

The Portrush-based illustrator has turned boarded-up buildings into virtual thriving retail units by overseeing their design with striking images.

Having completed almost 20 projects for Moyle Council in places like Bushmills, he is currently working on sites for the local authorities in Antrim.

"I try to make the shops fronts look as realistic and inviting as possible... and in some cases people actually try to use the post boxes I've created, which is funny," said Nathan, who owns a company called

"I work in partnership with Studiorogers Architects in Coleraine who advise me on stylistic elements."

The father-of-three said the turnaround time for the completion of some projects was very tight and often required working around the clock.

"I work from nine in the morning until midnight if the job demands it," he said.

"We also have to work alongside different contractors, such as builders, plasterers and painters, so it's all about accommodating each other."

The policy is not a new one, but it does, increasingly, spark debate over whether it's a sticking plaster approach.

But, either way, it provides more than a temporary solution.

"The materials used in this work last up to 20 years so it's durable stuff; it's there to last until the property can be put back into use," said Nathan.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph