‘I love public art. It’s so important in the city to bring a little joy and make people smile. That’s what I’ve always tried to do.’ – Camille Walala
From France but now based in East London, Camille Walala is an artist who takes joy seriously. Becoming renowned over the course of the last decade for her vibrant large-scale interventions across public spaces, Walala uses ‘the man-made landscape as a vessel for disseminating positivity.’ Her latest creation, entitled ‘Les Jumeaux’, occupies South Africa Road and the façade of the WestWorks building in West London. It's an eye-catching installation with inspiration drawn from the building’s strong functional shapes.
Inspired by her upbringing in France, Camille notes, ‘where I grew up in the south of France, my family home was decorated by my mother and she used a lot of colour in her interiors – Italian designs and African fabrics. It felt like a natural continuity to use colour in my work.’ Relocating to London in 1997, with the intention of learning English and return home, it was the creativity, eccentricity and freedom of the city that made Camille stay and call London her home ever since. The artist’s unique and distinctive style utilises bold colours, playful shapes and geometric patterns with the aim to punctuate a public space with energy, inspiration and positivity.
By using vibrant colours and visually arresting patterns, Walala brings new life to White City Place. She manages to connect her distinctive joyful style with the iconic architectural history of the area. All of Walala’s commissions begin as sketches and drawings which develop into large-scale installations through her intuitive process, resulting in spectacular creations which instantly illuminate any spaces they occupy.
‘This was a really exciting commission because I got to explore the area so much more than I have in the past, and bring colourful, joyful patterns to this part of London. I like when my projects begin with this element of curiosity. I was inspired by the rich architectural details and began working in my sketchbook, making drawings and collages, which grew into the bigger scale installation. It’s a balancing process to find happy accidents along the way while keeping the style simple and bold.’ – Camille Walala
The commission, by Stanhope, forms part of a wider cultural programme taking place in White City Place. The artist’s intuitive and artistic process undoubtedly injects long-lasting energy into the area. Set to stay for two years, Walala’s playful design and buoyant colour palette perfectly showcase how the power of colour and pattern can transform an environment, elevate moods and boast positivity.