For the love of NEON!

“One might not think of light as a matter of fact, but I do. And it is, as I said, as plain and open and direct an art as you will ever find.” Dan Flavin – American minimalist artist famous for creating sculptural objects and installations from commercially available fluorescent light fixtures.

I’ve always had a thing for lighting, in particular neon… In my first year at art college I went on a trip to Blackpool to see the lights in November. I was totally blown away by the gaudiness, the colours, the assault on the senses. I was in neon heaven! Neon has come in and out of fashion, and to a certain degree has become a bit of a design cliche of late. I haven’t let this deter me though. I still have a massive soft spot for all things neon.

It’s been used as a medium of expression over the years by many artists – Tracey Emin, Jason Rhoades, and Dylan Neuwirth to name but a few. It smacks of Soho and many an insalubrious area; circus tents and theme parks; Las Vegas and excess… and I love the fact that neon has a seedy edge to it. But it is also a thing of upmost beauty and the art of neon is incredible. My neon hero is Chris Bracey of God’s Own Junkyard, who sadly passed away in November 2014. I had the pleasure of various email communications with Chris prior to his death. If you have never heard of him I urge you to investigate his vast collection of work. “His work can be seen in films as diverse as Batman, Blade Runner and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The Rainbow Fancy Dress and Sonata Jazz Café signs in Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut are both his: they now form part of the 700-strong collection in the Walthamstow workshop-cum-neon-museum.” The Guardian online, November 2014.

And if you are like me and dyeing to make something in neon yourself, then have a look at The Neon Workshop company based in Yorkshire. Set up by artist Richard William Wheater with the aim of teaching and exploring neon, it offers a number of different workshops. If you would like something closer to London, then why not try the fabulous Indytute – brainchild of the highly talented Calypso Rose – which offers neon-making courses delivered by The Neon Workshop.

With all this rain and grey sky, it’s a perfect time to be thinking about bringing a little light and colour into your home.

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Neon by artist Chris Bracey. (mbds.com)
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Saatchi Art Artist: Darren West; Neon 2014 Sculpture “Neon Stag”
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(pinterest)
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Lips S3 – Steel Kiss Oil on board with neon light outine, 60x80cm http://www.sarapope.co.uk/
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KATE SPADE NY shop display (pinterest)
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Moschino Cheap & Chic LFW Debut – ‘Make up Your Life!’

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Todd Sanders uses time-tested methods and no computers to hand-build his custom neon art. (pinterest)
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Airan Kang – “109 Lighting Books” Photo by Gerard Dalmon on Flickr.com
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Design Milk Jung Lee, I Want To Be Your Love, 2012
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Jason Rhoades at Institute of Contemporary Art (pinterest)
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By Tracey Emin (Bloglovin’)
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Gods Own Junkyard | Neon ‘On Air’ Angel sculpture (godsownjunkyard.co.uk)
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Forever in My Heart, by Chris Bracey. Beautifully kitsch neon art.
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The pitter patter of tiny feet…

Happy New Year to all you lovely people. I hope you and yours had a wonderful festive period and that 2016 will be filled with loads of good stuff for us all. I am personally not-so-secretly delighted…

In a little over three months I will be welcoming baby number 3 into the world. It’s a boy this time. I am filled with a mixture of excitement and apprehension at the unknown quantity that is a small boy-child. I have two gorgeous daughters so all things girl-related I am highly versed in, but a boy…? It’s going to be a whole new adventure and one I am sure I will find incredible if at times nerve wracking.

So with the joys of a mostly wet and grey January ahead of me, I have started to turn my head to something not remotely drab and dreary… the design of the nursery. My wish-list is currently: bold, kitsch, quirky, bright, snug, surprising and as eclectic as possible to incorporate things we already have in our home. I am drawn to the colour yellow at the moment, but a 1950s yellow a la extraordinarily talented Lucienne Day or modern-day MissPrint, whose Dandelion Mobile fabric I just adore.

I am sure the design and scheme will morph organically over the coming months, but for the moment, here are some visuals that are inspiring me. Hope you enjoy.

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Loving the colours used here and the kitsch prints are inspired. (retourdechine.canalblog.com)
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Perhaps not pink for a boy’s room, but the different scale of items works really well and I love the shelves/letters. (petitspetitstresors.tumblr.com)
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This mustard yellow pouf is spot on and I love the suspended lamp too. (petitandsmall.com)
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This vibrant print is stunning… (shelleysdavies.com)
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MissPrint Dandelion Mobile print.
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Great shelving ideas. (handmadecharlotte.com)
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Animal alphabet cards for the nursery – educational and also look adorable on the wall! (etsy.com)
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Loving this DIY cloud light from handmadecharlotte.com.
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A room full of colour and character. (flickr.com)
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Bold wallpaper really works for me. (petitandsmall.com)
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How to make a statement! (diyordie.elleinterior.se)
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Habitat 1964 (handmadecharlotte.com)
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Cute hanging solution. A beautifully organised and bright nursery. (chalkkids.co.uk)
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A simple and effective way to create a quiet snug area. Love the colour of the side unit too! (dig-mig.blogspot.nl)
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Great colour combo. Am particularly loving the roof pattern. (mommodesign.com)