God's Own Junkyard "Electric City" Exhibition at Leadenhall Market
Updated: Jul 18, 2021
Only two weeks left to visit the God's Own Junkyard's Electric City pop-up exhibition of iconic neon signs at Leadenhall Market! For over 4 decades, Walthamstow-based God's Own Junkyard was a prolific signage source for movie sets, including Batman, The Dark Knight, Judge Dredd, Tomb Raider, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. After being featured in productions directed by the likes of Tim Burton and David LaChappelle, now, the legendary led signs are on display in London Town.
The City of London’s thriving 700-years-old covered Victorian market, with its shimmering glass, airy cobbled alleyways, gorgeous interiors, and wrought iron structures is no stranger to the movie industry either, having been a film location for films like Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.
The Electric City exhibition will shed more light on some of God’s Own Junkyard’s key pieces that made movie history through an immersive technicolour production that involves numerous atmospheric walk-in installations and units. The God's Own Junkyard flashing-neon legacy was established by Chris Bracey who was a fervent creator of custom neon signage for nightclubs, sex shops, motels, cinemas, casinos, and fairgrounds.
The glowing wonderland's journey to fame featured the famous light-up piece in Soho and continued with four decades of commissions for the movie industry that featured the late neon artist Chris Bracey’s chance encounter with the art director of Mona Lisa who was looking to film scenes in a sleazy strip club. The cinematic glory of his neon art debuted with Bladerunner and hasn’t stopped ever since.
Although the "Neon Man"/"The Master of Glow" sadly passed away in 2014, the legacy of God's Own Junkyard - with a cult following in Los Angeles and London - lives on stronger than ever thanks to the remarkable talent, effort, and energy of his wife Linda and sons Marcus and Mathew.
The three of them are brilliant neon designers and resourceful makers, keeping the fluorescent flame alive. Their rich portfolio of retro displays, salvaged signs, and tons of both new and used neon lighting lettering-and-tubing fantasies proves that dazzling neon art can be made from anything from found objects to retrieved and renewed lights or waste.
Since one of the films highlighted will be Eyes Wide Shut, Linda explains how some of the illuminated sculpture leds on display became key to the film’s themes:
“It was a dream-come-true for Chris to be involved in this project. He was blown away by 2001 and was a huge fan of Kubrick’s work and. When he received a call to transform the Pinewood Studios into Greenwich Village in New York and follow the main character through nighttime walks, exotic signs, and strange lights, it was the highlight of his career."
God's Own Junkyard parts of Greenwich sign-by-sign at Pinewood Studios, and Kubrick didn’t want any additional lighting. The mood was set by thousands of multi-coloured Christmas lights.
Electric City gives us all the opportunity to see some of these signs and reflect on God's Own Junkyard's moviemaking history. The exhibition is part of an electrifying programme of activities and events that celebrate the reopening of Leadenhall Market’s 35 boutique retailers, restaurants, bars, and cafes.
The Electric City Exhibition is at 📍 Leadenhall Market, Gracechurch St, London EC3V 1LT
Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut signs are located at 📍 41 - 42 Bulls Head Passage
The Judge Dredd neon lights are based at 📍 29-30 Leadenhall Market
The Electric City Exhibition Hub is at 📍 13-15 Leadenhall Market
📅 Until 31 Jul 2021
⏲️ 11.30 am - 7 pm from Wednesday to Saturday.
💰 Price: FREE. No booking required.
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