Monday 15 April 2013

Gods Own Junkyard

It is not often that people call it a lucky coincidence when their car needs to go in for repairs. I do! This is because my car repair shop is situated right next to the most magical place, and if I hadn't dropped off my ride and walked by this place on the way home, I might have never discovered Gods Own Junkyard.

I noticed some neon signs in the window of what looked like a storehouse, and when I walked past I caught a glimpse of a statue through a metal fence. I looked closer, and saw the Mother Mary. Like an epiphany, she had led me to a dream location. Are you aware of the neon graveyard in Las Vegas? I sure am, and have been dreaming of going there for the longest time. But guess what?! There is a neon graveyard a 20-minute walk for my home! Or, not so much a graveyard but a reprocessing resurrection plant. And this was it! Sadly, I had other engagements on the day, but did a little research later, located the junk master's Twitter account and asked him if he would allow me to visit with my camera soon. 

Gods Own Junkyard is run by artist Chris Bracey. The passion for bright lights goes back to his father, who had been running a sign-making business in the same location since the early 1950s. The original shop still exists, but Chris is taking his family legacy to quite another level, and is quite famous for it. He has designed pieces for many movies, photo shoots and exhibitions (including his own), referencing pop culture and human nature. 

Piled high in his heavenly scrapyard are old signs, movie props, display boards, kitschy statues, discarded shop fascias. And in the midst of this a little shed, which has been converted into a shrine to the gods of light. And the gods are kind to the motley collection of rejects, because a lot of this junk will one day come back to a glorious new life in the arts.

Walk with me:
When I finished wandering around the yard, I made my way back to the work shed and felt like I was entering the inner sanctuary of the neon gods. Everywhere you look in this tiny space there are light and colours, tinted bulbs and tubes, luminescent statues and wall hangings. The whole display evoked the sensation of being out on the town, walking along the Las Vegas Strip, down Broadway, or through the West End. Neon just makes everything bright and glamorous, and for me it acts like the flame for the moth. I could look at it for hours, which I nearly did.

Behold the beauty:

You can visit Chris' current exhibition at Scream gallery. It runs until the beginning of June. But if you are in London on a Friday or Saturday, I implore you to make your way up East for a stroll through the junkyard and to see where his striking artwork originates.


© Text & Photos - Annika - All The Live Long Day (unless otherwise stated).
All artwork © Chris Bracey - Gods Own Junkyard


  1. Oh my GOOOD! I know this place!!! I've never been there, but i used to pass through it while on a train, on a way to my home..! I always used to wait for the moment to see the roof of this building, as it has all this weird and funny stuff! So cool! I mean! Amazing! :) All the colors! I always thought what a weird person must live in there.. hah! :) and of course..artist! What can you expect?! Anyway, it does really look like some place from Las Vegas, and here you are.. You can find some bit of Las Vegas in London! Now i want to come back to London even more! Thinking why i never thought about checking out this place..
    Well thanks to you! =)) Great photos by the way! :)

  2. Wow, what a place! So much to look at. Lucky for you being able to walk around and see it, and lucky for your readers that you did too. Great photos.

  3. This looks like the best place EVER! What a great place to photograph! I'm super jealous. I love the cow. I want him. hahaha Thanks for sharing!

  4. Wow, what a serendipitous find! This place looks so amazing, I really love the shark head It would be awesome to have in your house.

    Thanks for sharing.

  5. OH MY GOODNESS GRACIOUS! So jealous right now! :) Lovely photos of a very unique place. Especially love the cow and the moon photo...

  6. WOWEE!!! This place looks insanely amazing! You could lose hours and hours in there. Gorgeous photos too...

  7. and about 20 minutes walk from my house therefor too, and I never ever knew it was there! going soon, thanks!


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