Inside God's Own Junkyard
Behind an inconspicuous wooden door tucked away on a quiet industrial area of Vallentin Road is where you will find God's Own Junkyard, a fascinating and quirky Alladin's cave packed full of neon artwork. The man behind the Junkyard is Chris Bracey, who has been in the neon business for 37 years. What started out as a sign making company for seedy Soho bars has flourished over the years into something far more spectacular. You can see his artworks everywhere from Hollywood films such as 'Eyes Wide Shut' and the modern 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' to the latest Rimmel London advertisement featuring Kate Moss stalking and pouting through a giant pink neon Union Jack. Chris's popularity has continued to rise exponentially in recent years, culminating this spring with the launch of a major new exhibition at the Scream gallery in London, gaining him significant media coverage, for example these articles by The Independent and the BBC.
The Scream exhibition is well worth a visit, but us E17'ers are in for an extra treat. The Junkyard on Vallentin Road is Chris Bracey's workshop and studio, where he creates his latest pieces and old set props are brought home to rest in the backyard. The interior of the studio is a mind-boggling sight, with every wall crammed full of glowing, flickering illuminations. Much of the artwork here is for sale, from small single words mounted on a wooden board to the bigger, more dramatic installations. As we moved deeper into the studio the back door was opened allowing us out into the yard. Here is home to hundreds more pieces, piled up somewhat haphazardly against each other, giving the impression of a bizzare dilapidated fairground. The closer you look the more there is to spot and marvel upon. This place is a must-see for all local residents!
God's Own Junkyard can be found at 96 Vallentin Road is currently open for visitors every Friday and Saturday from 10am-4pm. Check their website for the latest opening hours and a photo gallery.