God's Own Junkyard Is Giving Leadenhall A Neon Glow-Up

By Maire Rose Connor Last edited 36 months ago

Last Updated 05 May 2021

God's Own Junkyard Is Giving Leadenhall A Neon Glow-Up

Walthamstow's technicolour treasure trove has been raided ahead of a vibrant new exhibition at Leadenhall Market.

From 26 May until 31 July, God's Own Junkyard — a shimmering cave of neon signage created by the late British artist Chris Bracey — takes over the Victorian covered market for an immersive trip through film history.

For over 40 years, God's Own Junkyard worked on film sets, creating signage for movies including Judge Dredd, Tomb Raider, The Dark Knight, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Now, these same signs are coming to the Leadenhall Market.

Highlights include a homage to Stanley Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut, featuring props from the film. The cult nineties psychodrama was filmed at Pinewood Studios, which Chris helped to transform into New York's Greenwich Village by recreating parts of the iconic Manhattan neighbourhood sign-by-sign.

“It was a dream-come-true for Chris to be involved in this project,” his widow, Linda, recalls. “He was such a fan of Kubrick’s work and was blown away by 2001.”

The exhibition — named Electric City — is completely free to attend and guided tours are planned from June onwards, providing COVID-19 restrictions continue to ease.

You've even got the chance to take home your own neon artwork, thanks to a walk-in installation and information hub where you can buy selected pieces virtually (though sadly not the ones featured on the silver screen).

Whether you're a film fan or not, it's a fantastic chance to see one of London's most iconic markets in a whole new light, its ornate Victorian shopfronts old-fashioned cobbles drenched in acid-toned hues.

Electric City, 26 May-31 July at Leadenhall Market.