For those not in the know, Chris Bracey, the neon artist behind Walthamstow's 'God's Own Junkyard', recently faced a tough challenge when he was forced to shut down his viewing gallery and outdoor space to make way for a property developer. In the run up to the closure hundreds of fans went down to see the place one last time and show their support, including us.
A wonderland of colours and light, the "junkyard" is a family business originally beginning with circuses and fairs in the 50's and later moving to signs for the Soho sex industry, skilled and brimming with talent the Bracey family have been making neons for over 6 decades.
Walking around the yard was amazing, it was like a name the movie pop quiz. Including artefacts from Kubrick movies, iconic signs from Hollywood blockbusters like ‘The Dark Knight’ and ‘Iron Man’ to commissions for the fashion world including Burberry and McQueen. Chris Bracey's super star collaborations are too many to list and provided us with endless "oooh's" and "ahhh's".
Having been forced to move from their premises where they had been based since 1978, there is some neon blindingly bright good news to end the year for the Bracey family and their fans. Earlier this month a new, more spacious home was secured at a nearby industrial estate to showcase Bracey’s work. And I for one can't wait to go and see the neon's new home.
Chris Bracey and his team are just incredible there are no limitations to what they do, in a interview with GQ in September Bracey said " in respect to my own art, I'm a one man shop because we all work here together". It's this lovely local community feel and team work that makes it all the more wholesome and genuine.
I'll definitely be sharing by images with you from their new location when we get a chance to visit, but for now I'll leave you with the neon wonderland we discovered at their previous home.
If you fancy a visit check out their website for opening times: God's Own Junk Yard
All images from this article are copyright and all rights reserved to Raquel Wallace