To applause from around the globe, artist Marcus Bracey has been continuing the illuminating work of his late father, “the Godfather of Neon”. Chris Bracey gained a cult following for his unique upcycled creations which have featured in A-lister movies ranging from Johnny Depp in ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’, to Tom Cruise in ‘Eyes Wide Shut’ and Jack Nicholson in ‘Batman’.
Discarded film props, would-be-waste lighting, redundant signage, retro displays and other salvaged materials, from the likes of fairgrounds, circuses, theatre and film sets, have been brilliantly repurposed into timeless collectibles. Many of these are on display at the family-owned east London HQ ‘God’s Own Junkyard’: a light art wonderland that’s hosted a Vogue cover shoot and a Dynamo filming session, amongst others. It’s also home to the oldest sign-makers in London.
Marcus was recently commissioned to help Selfridges launch their ‘Project Earth’ campaign and created a huge one-off installation that is now lighting up Oxford street with the line: “LET’S CHANGE THE WAY WE SHOP.”
He’s also been asked to contribute to Selfridges’ Christmas window displays so keep your eyes peeled for further neon brilliance there.
Last weekend, Marcus invited members of the public to a workshop in which they could design and make their own pieces of neon artwork. Hosted by the Blitz Factory, the workshop went so well, Marcus promises more are in the pipeline.
Visit God’s Own Junkyard (check @godsownjunkyard on Twitter for opening times) to see an incredible array that spans nearly four decades of work, with various pieces available for either rent or sale alongside opportunity for made-to-order pieces and private commissions.
You can now read Chris Bracey’s incredible life story in the book his son Matthew promised him he’d write. ‘Steel Dogs’ is available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Steel-Dogs-Matthew-Bracey-ebook/dp/B085DZ7G6C