Born in the French Provence and settled in London, Camille Walala spreads energy and vitality wherever she goes. Almost in a literal sense, this artist converts all she touches into amusement. Just as a drawing can be a visual poem, Camille’s pieces are a true jubilee for the eyes.
Intrigued by the happy and brilliant decorations her mother had in her childhood home, from a young age Camille began to feed on a love of colors, patterns, textiles and illustrations. As a graduate of textile design from the University of Brighton, there were two happenstances that would transform into unexpected opportunities that brought Walala to the belief in creating one’s own universe.
The first came in the form of a dedication a widow wanted to do for her late husband on the façade of her home. The project was initially meant for Jumboist, an acclaimed urban artist and the then boyfriend of Camille, to whom the request was made for a portrait of the man to commemorate him in his home. At the moment unavailable, Camille then not only offered to do it instead, but she didn’t take at all lightly the creative liberty given to her by her patron.
Starting with this first wall, Walala became more visible and her career as a multidisciplinary artist began to take off to the point that on one occasion, the owner of a London club gave her carte blanche and £20,000 to design the interiors of the location, something Camille had no experience with. But people already had trust in her style still in development. From there she became more motivated to extend herself further and continue experimenting.
This style, defined as Tribal Pop, is the result of three principle influences in the imagination of Camille. The first and most obvious, a collaboration of postmodernist designers from the Italy of the ’80s Memphis Group, to whom she was exposed during her adolescence and from whom she could take the most clean, colorful and playful geometry.
Second, and the more tribal aspect came from the African Ndebele, indigenous to South Africa and Zimbabwe, from whom she found pattern design and the repetitious rhythms of geometrics. And to this, we also must add the optical illusions of the Hungarian painter Victor Vasarely, to then get to Walala.
While it’s true that Camille’s Pop Tribal is instantly recognizable, currently the artist is exploring a new direction, that being abstract cubism by French Auguste Herbin, through a more simplistic route.
The purpose of her work is to no more than fill the world with color, energy and happiness, transforming cities into spaces more vibrant than gray. In fact, she created a tremendously vanguard crosswalk in London in partnership with the TATE Gallery, adding this slice of asphalt to her growing collection of façades in the capital that was transformed by her arching rainbow.
Some of these walls seem to even house a secret encrypted message in the geometric code that simply communicates limitless optimism in opposition to the gray of the British skies. The emotional success of its inhabitants is such that her brushes have already run over the walls of New York, Paris, Barcelona and Berlin, for example.