Photography: Rob Greig
Since we announced that neon artist Chris Bracey’s God’s Own Junkyard was under threat, the response has been incredible: hundreds of visitors have flocked to Walthamstow every Friday and Saturday to see one of the biggest collections of neon signs and artwork this side of the Atlantic, and the Junkyard’s cause has been championed by everyone from Walthamstow residents to the art community and fellow Eastender Professor Green.
Now, it saddens us to have to let you know that the end is nigh. After lengthy discussions with the landlords of the Junkyard and the local council, who are still trying to find a suitable place to rehouse the collection, the outdoor part of the yard – currently home to Bracey’s work for Hollywood blockbusters like ‘Byzantium’, ‘Captain America’ and ‘World War Z’ – is going to close for good on Saturday Sep 21.
The adjoining Red Shed – the space that includes his signs that lit up the sex clubs of Soho in the ’60s all the way through to his current gallery work – is then going to stay open for another six weeks. After that, it’s lights out for the last time, as developers move in to build flats on the land.
When we caught up with Bracey, he was overwhelmed by the support he’s received: ‘We’ve been getting a phenomenal 300 visitors a day, and we have started to open on Sundays as so many people are coming. All of the kind wishes we’ve received for the future have been amazing; my belief in mankind has been rekindled, and the Junkyard has become a happening place!’
If you haven’t been already, don’t miss out and head down before the lights are turned out for good, or show some love on Twitter via @godsownjunkyard. Opening times are 10.30am-5pm, Fridays and Saturdays; 11am-4pm, Sundays. Entry is free. Mark O ‘Donnell