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God’s Own Junkyard

The store-bar with the largest collection of neon lights in Europe

God’s Own Junkyard The store-bar with the largest collection of neon lights in Europe

Hidden in the east of London, 10 minutes from Walthamstow station, there is a magical place, a lysergic paradise full of neon lights, pieces of film sets and vintage junk. It's called God's Own Junkyard and to open it was Chris Bracey, one of the protagonists of the London art scene of the last century.

His is an interesting story. Born as a graphic designer in the early '70s and, in the middle of the decade, begins to realize signs for red light rooms of Soho as the famous Raymond Revue Bar. With its unique and provocative style that many define "slaze", that is, dirty and irreverent, it transforms the appearance of the neighborhood and captures the imagination of rock stars, artists and designers who roam the streets. The cinema is soon to become aware of his talent. The first assignment Bracey receives him to create neon for the English film Mona Lisa, with Michael Caine and, from then on, he works on four Batman films, producing the signs on the streets of Gotham, and collaborates with legendary directors like Tim Burton, Christopher Nolan, Stanley Kubrick for Eyes Wide Shut or Ridley Scott for the cult Bladerunner.

Even the world of fashion does not remain indifferent to the works of Neon Man, as the artist is nicknamed, who creates exhibitors for the stores of Vivienne Westwood, Stella McCartney and Alexander McQueen and in 2005 collaborates with David LaChapelle at the kitsch Vegas Supernova for Selfridges.

Bracey has crammed all his creations and hundreds of other pieces, old signs, used props and lighting for fairs and circuses collected over the years within his God's Own Junkyard, putting together the largest collection of neon lighting and signage in Europe. A so unique and unique store-bar that has been chosen as the background of many important photographic services and one of the most Instagrammed places.

If you go to London, this place, which also houses the Rolling Scones Cafe, which serves cakes, sandwiches and hot drinks, is worth a visit. The advice is to browse and lose yourself in this kaleidoscopic mix'n match of neon, disco balls, religious statues, pinball, pieces taken from sex shops, pubs, karaoke, rock 'n' roll sets and many other things.