Camille Walala’s first monograph is an ode to her spirited approach

The book, entitled Taking Joy Seriously, documents the designer’s milestone projects – from her first big commission to her recent revamp of an entire east London street

Camille Walala’s bright graphics have journeyed around the world, appearing on buildings, roof terraces and bars in England, Croatia, Switzerland, Australia, New York and Buenos Aires.

She’s known for her large scale projects, which bring a pomo-style set of colours and patterns to streets and buildings, but Walala actually started out selling cushions on Broadway Market. In 2015 she was commissioned to paint the exterior of a London office block – the Dream Come True Building – which prompted a wave of new Walala projects.

This breakthrough commission, as well as other key projects such as her London Design Festival zebra crossing, her three-dimensional Now Gallery show, and her Walala Lounge – a Memphis makeover of a street in London’s Mayfair – are all featured in the book. It delves into the story behind each, as well as the lasting impact of the artist’s work.

Flicking through the projects also shows just how far Walala has come in the last ten years, expanding her practice to encompass ever bigger commissions – designing all the interiors (and a stripy swimming pool) for the Salt of Palmar hotel in Mauritius being one notable example.

Other projects demonstrate a growing interest in more socially motivated work, for example partnering with human rights organisation Standing Voice and creating a national billboard campaign to raise awareness of the Employability Fund for young homeless people.

The book offers a hint of what the future might hold for Walala, with the introduction, written by Ruby Boddington, suggesting she’s using this moment to reflect on the last “frenetic” decade. Public art will continue to be a focus, she suggests, but we can perhaps expect more of these socially focused projects, in particular those that engage with communities, and young people in particular.

Camille Walala: Taking Joy Seriously is published by Counter-Print; counter-print.co.uk

JUNIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER

Milton Keynes