Chris Bracey’s Neon Representations Of Soho & Song @ Scream Until 1 June

The seventeen works making up Chris Bracey’s first solo exhibition, I’ve Looked Up To Heaven And Been Down To Hell, are currently showing at Scream on London’s Eastcastle St.

Despite the youthful and vibrant quality of his work, Bracey has been producing pieces for over 30 years – his bright assemblies of salvaged materials, bulbs and intricate arrangements of neon tubing have appeared in several feature films, and he has produced commissions for everyone from Stella McCartney to Vivienne Westwood.

I’ve Looked Up To Heaven And Been Down To Hell consists of entirely new works, many of which have a rather fitting Soho vibe to them, given the gaudy neon signs of the strip clubs and sex shops in the area – amongst them you’ll discover the transforming Hotel Love/Hot Burning Love, and Find Love Upstairs, for example. Others reference popular songs that Bracey has found inspiring over the years, such as Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds, a wild spiral of words spelling out the lyrics, and There Is A Light That Never Goes Out, a mixture of painted letters and neon picking out the title of the seminal Smiths number from 1986.

There were two in particular that I found intriguing, the first of which was Hands Of God – an old crumbling plaster statue of Christ with a neon halo and pair of red neon semi-automatic handguns placed in his open hands sits on the front, while there’s a vision of hell at the back. The other was the complex Shine A Light In The Darkness Of Your Soul, which seems to combine the qualities of a fairground ride with that of a seedy store (rated 18).

I’ve Looked Up To Heaven And Been Down To Hell runs at Scream until 1 June – you can’t miss the gallery because one of the pieces actually pokes out into the street – just follow the neon arrow directing you to HELL. If you’re interested in seeing some of his ‘works in progress’, he also opens up his studio, God’s Own Junkyard on Fridays and Saturdays. There’s more information on the website here.

chris bracey looked up to heaven been down to hell scream london

About Pete Stean

Pete Stean is a London-based writer and photographer. He can also be found on Twitter and on Google Plus.

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