Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 5°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

Jessica Howard at Norwich Crown Court for the sentencing of rapist Clive Howard (no relation).
Picture by SIMON FINLAY.

An Essex woman who was raped in a car park has described how an attack by a serial sexual predator has made it “impossible to enjoy moments of happiness” with memories of the incident darkening “every piece of joy” she has.

Will winnings be counted as well as ballot papers?

A prospective UKIP MP has offered his Conservative rival a bet on the general election result – as internal party polling suggests a UKIP surge in north Essex.

Two men attended the property in a lane off Bildeston Road, Little Finborough and claimed they were there to carry out home repairs.

An elderly woman was targeted in a distraction burglary at her home in a Suffolk village, police have said.

The inside of a cannabis factory, which was found at Ardleigh last year

A suspected burglar has been arrested after police found a large-scale cannabis factory in Hadleigh.

The Stowmarket carnival procession through the town last year.

The first details of this year’s Stowmarket Carnival have been unveiled.

Russell Osman

A former Ipswich Town and England international footballer will be lining up alongside his son for the London Marathon this Sunday, raising more than £2,000 for charity.

Ipswich has been described as a

Voters in Ipswich are crucial in the battle for Downing Street according to a new report which describes the town as one of 12 “Kingmaker” seats that will determine who becomes the next prime minister.

An Abellio Greater Anglia spokesman (AGA) said the fault has now been fixed after it was earlier reported that disruption could last until 10am. (Stock photo).

Train services between Ipswich and Felixstowe have returned to normal after a signalling fault at Trimley caused cancellations this morning.

British Transport Police (BTP) said paramedics were called to the incident, which is being treated as non-suspicious, but the man was pronounced dead at the scene.

A man was fatally hit by a train near Ipswich last night.

Shaun Webber has been jailed for more than four years after stabbing his brother multiple times in an alleyway

An Ipswich man who stabbed his brother multiple times in an alleyway after he made disparaging remarks about their mother has been jailed for four years and six weeks.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages