Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 17°C

min temp: 9°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Gallery: Expert in ‘dark art of liquid fire’ resurrects Thorpeness landmark in art

17:49 28 January 2014

Chris Bracey has been producing neon artwork using wood he salvaged from historic buildings in Thorpeness. The artwork has been used in Hollywood films and commissioned by celebrities.

Chris Bracey has been producing neon artwork using wood he salvaged from historic buildings in Thorpeness. The artwork has been used in Hollywood films and commissioned by celebrities.

An expert in the “dark art of liquid fire” has salvaged timber from a historic landmark on the Suffolk coast to create neon signs for the rich and famous.

shares

Chris Bracey’s iconic art, incorporating woodwork rescued during the conversion of Ogilvie Hall in Thorpeness, can be found in the homes of film stars, musicians and celebrity chefs across the globe.

The hall’s antique floorboards, upon which the renowned composer Benjamin Britten once rehearsed, were discovered in a skip by Mr Bracey during one of his regular visits to the coastal village.

Determined not to see the relics go to waste, he hauled the timber home and involved it in his designs, many of which have since sold for thousands of pounds to famous clients including Victoria Beckham, Jude Law and Jamie Oliver.

“It’s quite remarkable really,” he said

The flooring was also used to make a neon star for the television show Kirstie’s Homemade Christmas. Presenter Kirstie Allsop described the work as “a triumph” and praised its beauty.

Mr Bracey’s other work has featured in blockbuster movies such as The Dark Knight Rises, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and World War Z.

The 59-year-old artist says he has had “a love affair with neon” ever since his father, a former miner, began making signs in the 50s.

“I love neon, I almost consider it a living thing,” he said

“Neon loves the dark, it is like a beautiful woman, it wants to be looked at, it wants to be seen and it wants to be loved.”

A Londoner, born and bred, Mr Bracey describes Suffolk as his “bolt hole” where he comes to escape the pressures of city life.

After many years holidaying in Aldeburgh, he and his wife Linda bought a rundown wooden cottage in Thorpeness which they demolished to make way for their “Shangri-la”.

“All I ever wanted in the world was to live in a house on a dirt track looking out across the trees and so that was it for me, something I’ve wanted more than anything else in the world,” he said.

“It’s a fantastic village and all the local people are so friendly and nice.”

Taking timber from the cottage, built for servicemen during the Second World War, Mr Bracey made a collection of neon designs themed around love.

“I took a building that was created for war and made all things to do with love,” he said,

“It became really popular and sold all over the world.”

Although Mr Bracey credits his father for teaching him the “dark art” of making neon, he thanks his mother, Doreen Bracey, a Great Bricett resident, for his nurturing his creative talents.

“My mum had an appreciation and love for art and I think that’s the reason I’ve been a success,” he said.

Mr Bracey runs his own gallery, God’s Own Junkyard, in London and also has a permanent display in Selfridges.

“Every time I make a piece, that effect when I switch it on for the first time takes me back to childhood, it’s such a fantastic feeling,” he said.

shares

0 comments

A Mercedes has crashed into a BP petrol station in west Suffolk

The male driver of a car which crashed into a petrol station has escaped uninjured.

The countdown to the Suffolk Show is on

Visitors to the Suffolk Show are set for fine and dry weather tomorrow.

Motorists experienced delays on the A14 (file pic).

A car overturned on the A14 causing delays for motorists heading towards Newmarket.

The scene at Uncle Sam's American Circus in Chantry Park after the incident

An investigation has today been launched after two circus performers were injured when a motorcycle stunt went wrong during a performance in Chantry Park, Ipswich.

James Cleverly

Braintree’s new MP James Cleverly is not new to politics. He has been stalking the corridors of London’s City Hall for years.

(l-r) Suffolk Show fashionistas Tory, Jenny, Abi, Kate, Nicola and Janet demonstrate their show attire will stand up to the most blustery conditions!

If you were trying to persuade someone to go to the show for the first time, what would be your top three recommendations?

Members of Hadleigh Local Dementia Action Alliance

Up to £5,000 is being offered to groups in Suffolk who want to make their communities dementia-friendly.

Michael Warner (left) and John Rendle (right) with an Ipswich School photo showing pupils who left in 1965.  They are trying to trace other pupils who left 50 years ago to join them at a reunion lunch this June.

A call has been made for pupils who left a private school 50 years ago to join their former peers at a celebratory lunch.

On site at Trinity Park

It may have been a relaxing bank holiday for some, but for the stall holders taking part in the Suffolk Show it was business as usual.

Suffolk Show

An annual farming spectacular that is The Suffolk Show opens at Trinity Park tomorrow - will you be there?

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages