Camille Walala, the Anglo-French tribal pop graphic designer
We have been saying for some time now that one of the most fashionable design trends this year is the use of colours that are vivid, joyful and loud, and put together in unusual combinations. This trend has its roots in the style and culture of Africa that has attracted so much interest from designers all over the world in recent years.
In fact, at the most recently visited exhibitions, Africa turned out to be one of the most popular themes on show (for example, the Salone Satellite Exhibition in Milan was dedicated entirely to Africa and at Maison&Objet too African ethnicity was one of the hottest topics).
We discuss the factors that are leading to Africa being among the most influential emerging continents in the article below.
Among the artists who have become interested in this trend, and who clearly have achieved great success in recent times, is Camille Walala, an Anglo-French artist, famous for her works and installations that harmoniously blend art and graphic design and that are characterised by a huge dose of colour.
July 12th saw the completion of a project consisting of 4 works in Tanzania that Walala created in collaboration with Julia Jomaa, faithfully following her ultra-colourful style. Let’s see what specifically this involved.
The site-specific works in Tanzania, from aesthetics to positivity
How can you change the life of a community with simple but conceptually rich aesthetics? To this end, Walala went to Tanzania to the educational centre of Umoja on Lake Victoria, where, by means of cheerful colours and bold geometric patterns, she wanted to “give the community a new injection of positivity”.
Working together with Julia Jomaa, Camille Walala transformed 4 elements already present in the village into genuine works of art: the sign at the entrance to the village, the concrete structures containing the water tanks used by the centre and the surrounding villages, the renovated radio room where young reporters of the Ukerewe group work and the new library, which thanks to the designer Simon Sawyer is soon to have its furnishings renovated with new counters and shelves.
Here are some photos of the restoration of these four elements in the Tanzanian village.
What Walala and Jomaa wanted to achieve, is a series of elements that, through the use of bright colours and captivating geometries, can give life to an environment full of optimism and energy. A project designed to “share and develop skills, overcome prejudices, form positive relationships, understand and embrace differences, create businesses and claim an interest in a broader African society”.
An example of how design can change and improve an outlook that is generally taken for granted: that of everyday reality.
Other works by Camille Walala
Always with the underlying theme of “tribal pop” that characterises what she does, Walala – known above all in London for her colourful murals and for projects created for special locations and pop-up stores – has produced a variety of works around the world the key element in which is an explosion of colours.
Camille Walala’s Pop Life, Cleveland
One example is the restyling of a former bank located in the Waterloo Arts District of Collinwood, Cleveland, which was abandoned in 2010 and today is called Pop Life and houses an art gallery. While the interiors were preserved almost intact, even the vault remaining in its original position, the exterior façade was completely revised by Walala, who transformed it into a sort of kaleidoscope of colours.
Exuberant and playful thanks to the patterns, textures and of course, the colours, Walala’s Pop Life features fiery reds cornices, black and white stripes that emphasise the height of the structure and geometric shapes that highlight the architectural volumes. Here are the photos.
The multi-coloured maze at the Now Gallery in London
Walls covered with bold geometric patterns, mirrors and bright tones form Walala’s maze, located in the Now Gallery in London. The designer’s goal was to create a space in which each person could undergo a kind of transformation through mirrors and little tricks scattered around the maze, unleashing the child in each of us.
With walls of different heights, enclosed spaces and paths full of bends and “traps”, the installation offers visitors a visual and physical experience throughout their visit, as in a video game.
A parallel reality, in which to switch off and get away from the noise and the confusion of the London metropolis, where you can immerse yourself fully and completely far from reality.
Who is Camille Walala?
Camille Walala is a graphic designer who, as we have said, has made colour her own artistic style. She graduated in Textile Design at the University of Brighton, setting up her homonym brand in 2009 in London, where she still lives.
She has carried out a variety of works in the field of design and is well known in London for a number of temporary installations, pop-ups, restaurants and other sites in the retail world.
Her sources of inspiration include the Memphis Movement, the Ndebele tribe and Vasarely, the master of op art.
Her tribal POP style releases unlimited energy that works perfectly for places of entertainment as well as community and urban spaces. Her clients include Nintendo, the well-known videogames maker.
What do you think about Walala’s style? How do you feel with her well-being aesthetics through the use of colours?
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