We caught up with The Flavour Gallery Artists to learn more about them and their amazing work! Read more below to find out what our artists get up to for fun, what cocktail they would be, and what they'd say to a camel in brogues... (seriously).
How long did it take you to create both pieces?
I started painting in August and finished by the end of October. It was a long process as I needed to wait for the paint to dry completely in order to add more details, shapes and layers. The piece “Behind the Heat” has many layers, and I found it difficult to stop and see the end!
Aside from art, what do you enjoy most?
Working with kids is definitely another passion of mine. Recently I taught a workshop at a primary school with children aged 5 to 11. It was an amazing experience. I love to see how children express themselves creatively and how much they learn from each other by making things together. Those children showed me their psychological process and how art and creativity in general helps us to develop and become a better person. I have also recently graduated from a yoga teacher-training course, which has inspired me to dig even deeper into the psychology and philosophy of life and importance of creativity and movement. And of course, I love spending quality time with my friends and family. My social life has always been very important to me. I love people that are around me and it makes me very happy to see them happy.
Where is your favourite city?
Over the past 5 years I have been traveling a lot and have seen many amazing places. One of the cities I love most is Barcelona, mostly because of its beautiful architecture and overall vibe. Seville is another city that literally has my heart. I am bias, as my fiancé grew up there. Spain is definitely a place where I can love every place I visit. This summer we returned to Croatia and for the first time I visited Split. That city definitely took my breath away it is an open museum, just like Rome...
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
I always thought of becoming an actress. Since I was very young, I would do little shows and theatre plays for my family. I loved the idea of improvising and being able to become whomever I wanted in those 5 min of fame. My parents encouraged me and I did go to drama workshops and even travelled around to act in theatre plays. Creativity was always my strong side and back than I was expressing myself mostly through acting. Even coming here, back in 2008, I thought I would finish Drama/Performing Arts school, but I was a bit frightened of language, so instead I did Art. Which I am entirely grateful for today.
You art is scented… What’s your favourite scent?
Smell of Eastern White Pine by the seaside. If you don’t know what I am talking about you should go to Croatia.
What’s your next project?
I have an exciting project that I am starting. Making art more accessible, I am creating unique t-shirts that are entirely hand weaved, hand printed, and hand painted. In this process I am supporting two independent businesses, one which is hand weaving my t-shirts with organic cotton; and the other one that hand prints my design. To finish off, I individually paint on each t-shirt with no two t-shirts looking the same. The idea behind this is to support a mindful “movement” about fashion, to consider where is it coming from. Each t-shirt is to become an art piece that will spread positive vibes to our society.
Describe the colour yellow to someone who is blind.
Yellow is when you are out on a beautiful sunny day, and you can feel the sun kissing your cheeks. Or when you are out with your friends and your belly is filled with butterflies of happiness. It is a happy and joyful colour.
Who was your favourite Spice Girl?
Melanie Brown (Scary Spice). I associate her with yellow colour too.
When did you meet David Bowie? What was the most scandalous thing he ever told you?
I first met David Bowie in 1970. I would bump into him in Soho occasionally and later when I created the Hunky Dory and Ziggy Stardust album covers he would drop into my studio in Covent Garden or meet up in the pub next door. Nothing particularly scandalous but he visited the studio with his then wife Angie and saw a record cover I was working on that featured female hands in black leather mittens tied together with red cord. They both echoed: Ooo! S&M, love it!
What is your favourite piece of David Bowie art you’ve curated?
I suppose it would have to be the front and back artwork for Ziggy Stardust as it was such a ground breaking record that predated Glam Rock and the androgyny that became de rigueur for rock stars. This is part of the reason why they have become such iconic images, and my prints taken from the original artwork have become so collectable However the cover art for Hunky Dory is nearly as popular with Bowie fans.
What would you be doing if you weren’t an artist?
Bit of a petrol head and have a weakness for performance cars. When younger I took part in club event racing, purely as a past time, so maybe a racing driver....In my dreams!!
If you were one of David Bowie’s songs, what one would you be and why?
Andy Warhol, if for no other reason than it's a song about an artists who's work I really admire.
What’s your favourite medium to work with for your art?
I discovered the airbrush when working an art studio in Fleet Street way back in 1962. I've used that technique exclusively until a few years ago and now work digitally but occasionally incorporate airbrush work too.
If you were stuck on an island what would you bring with you?
Probably an Ipad and stylus pen. Presuming I had a good internet connection, I could do some drawing on the pad, surf the net for ideas and images and of course listen to music. If I only had one choice it would be listening to music.
A camel walks through a door wearing some brogues, what does he say and why?
Hi! Is this the right place for the party? And he says this because well, I invited him.
What would your debut album be called?
Please Buy This Record, Please! The last line from the Peter Sellers record: I'm So Ashamed ( 1958 )
Did we hear you are releasing a book?
Yes, working on a limited edition book with a publisher about my life and art which is certainly more Disney than Da Vinci. Due to be published in 2019. It will essentially be an art book heavily illustrated also featuring a selection of loose prints within the book as well.
What’s your best party trick?
We're not great at singing but we know all the words to the Moana soundtrack so we're pretty great at doing that at parties.
What’s the biggest thing you’ve woven?
We make giant tapestries as a community workshop and their pretty massive, we've also woven a deckchair which collapsed when a giant man sat on it (bloody giant men).
What’s your ‘ready to get down and weave’ jam?
We're big into the 'Ricky Baker Birthday Song' from the soundtrack of Hunt for the Wilderpeople.
What’s your go to weaving snack?
Marinated anchovies, soup and chocolate. All in the same bowl. With a straw.
What’s your favourite colour yarn?
Can we come round for knitflix and chill?
But of course! You bring the sweets, we'll provide the yarn, Netflix subscription and the really bad karaoke.
How did God’s Own Junkyard start?
My Grandad Richard Bracey started the sign business in a shed at the side of his house in 1952 and we have been creating and collecting ever since. Gods Own Junkyard was my fathers (Chris Bracey) dream. Over the years my family the bracey's collected and created 1000's of Neon signs for movies, Soho's sex industry and commissions for commercial and domestic clients. When the movies were finished or the shops would close down we would store the old signs. Now we sell and exhibit them for all to see.
Do you have a favourite piece of neon?
My personal favourite neon sign is one of my dads - 'There is a light that never goes out' Absolutely love it! A large piece of drift wood hand painted and neon layered across the top.
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve been commissioned to create?
The weirdest thing I’ve commissioned must have been a neon outfit for entering the alternative miss world competition run by Andrew Logan 2013. It was really complicated and it needed to run from batteries which is the hardest thing to accomplish with neon as it drains the batteries so quickly!
What’s the most expensive thing you’ve sold?
The most expensive thing ive sold is a hard one but I guess its the neon sign for Selfridges Centenary - This was a whopping £200,000!
How would you describe God’s Own Junkyard to a five year old?
I personally worked on the Willy Wonka movie with Johnny Depp and was part of the first unit creating all the lovely colourful machines and sets. So if I had to describe the Junkyard to a 5 year old I would say - ' Welcome to Willy Wonkas Neon Sign Factory! Where Neon Dreams come True!’
If Hollywood made a movie about your life, who would you like to see play you
I’m currently writing a script/Book on Myself and my Dad called 'Steel Dogs' (Crazy to say the least) so I have been thinking good and hard on Hollywood Movie stars to play us and so far I have Ray Winston (Raymondo) for my dad and Tom Hardy for myself. They need good cockney East London Accents. Ray looks like my dad a bit but Tom apart from his accent me looking like him is a bit of a stretch!
Latex is one of those difficult materials that you learn to love. I got into latex when making skin texture prints for a life-size garden ornament zombie so when you spend hours dabbing latex on your knees and shoulders it starts to grow on you. (pun intended).
What do you do when you’re not encouraging people to hug vibrating walls?
I’m a personal trainer and sports masseur by day so I’m always pushing people to feel stronger and have mobility freedom. You might say that understanding the muscles and their movements is where my interest in anatomy and the body ended up.
What’s your favourite piece you’ve created?
My first latex head mount was an ambitious rhino which, during a casting process nightmare, I ended up sawing the ears off. Refusing to back down and chalk it up to a failure I continued to make this head mount and spent a few days pouring the latex and stuffing the head with cotton until I finally revealed it and found it to be exactly what you imagine, an earless rhino. After it sat in my studio for weeks taunting me I finally innovated and installed some deer antlers where the ears belonged so now it looks likes a mythical forest animal.
How did you get into art?
Thinking back it probably began as a kid when I would draw birds all the time but for the sake of relevance I’ve always enjoyed following ambiguous routes vaguely reflecting my inspiration and using this as an excuse to get messy and make something cool. I love seeing people interact with what I’ve made especially when I haven’t planned a reaction. For example, I was at The Flavour Gallery last week and I could see a woman from across the gallery just leaning on the vibrating wall, sipping a glittery cocktail and chatting to someone. She didn’t move until her drink was done and she wandered off to the bar. I assume she enjoyed the art?
If you were a cocktail what would you call yourself?
Moscow Mule because I’ll always be served in a copper mug, which inevitably get’s stolen and taken back to a loving family to be used forever.
What was the last text you sent?
'Eek, sounds like gossip I don’t want to know about tbh. (kind of want to know... tell me in brackets what happened)'