Walthamstow was faced with tragic news six months ago, when the passing of artist and Gods Own Junkyard founder, Chris Bracey was announced. His legacy remains, and his sons are now at the helm of the neon empire located in the lively Ravenswood Industrial Estate.
Gods Own Junkyard, the flagship gallery and studio, is home to the biggest collection of vintage and neon signs outside of the US. Stepping into this converted warehouse, you are instantly met with a warm, hazy glow as the rainbow lights compete for your attention. Giant disco balls hang from the ceiling, a statue of Jesus holding pistols stands in a Technicolor grotto and pink flashing love hearts are emblazoned with slogans asking ‘Are you getting enough?’. This is just a tiny dot in comparison to the amount of work on show here; there is not a surface in sight that hasn’t been decorated with some form of neon art. It is a sea of Kitsch and it is better at boosting your energy levels than any number of Berocca tablets.
A recent addition to the warehouse is the ‘Rolling Scone Café’ which we have been informed by locals, offers the best cup of coffee in the area. Sofas and a little patio garden are tucked around the back of the neon den, providing the perfect viewpoint to gaze at the magnificent flashing signs.
For those looking to brighten up their gaff, a selection of work is for sale. Be warned however, these works don’t come cheap. The average starting price for a neon masterpiece can set you back something in the region of £350 and the prices increase the more intricate the design you choose.
If you are interested in seeing the designs for yourself, the warehouse is open across the weekend but closes during the week. To see more information and the full opening times, visit their website here
Words and Photos: Grace Molan