Taking Joy Seriously: new monograph charts the colourful career of Camille Walala

French artist Camille Walala has made a name for herself over the last decade by transforming urban public spaces with her joyful art. Now, in a new book from Counterprint, you can take a look back on her vibrant work, which is sure to make you smile.

Titled Taking Joy Seriously, this monograph charts the course of Camille's career through a variety of stunning projects. This includes the time she transformed a derelict filling station in Arkansas with an array of polka dots, filled a tunnel in Canary Wharf with perspective-warping visuals, and designed an entire eco-boutique hotel in Mauritius.

As well as boasting impressive visuals of work that will make your heart soar, Taking Joy Seriously also includes an interview with Camille herself, plus an accompanying mini-booklet that contains examples of her sketchbook work. The only difficulty with ordering this magnificent book is that it comes with a choice of eight stunning covers, so selecting your favourite from the selection of designs will be hard work.

Even if you're unfamiliar with Camille's, the visceral impact of her work will be immediately apparent. By playing with bold colours and shapes, she can generate a powerful and heartening visual energy. And by positioning her art in urban spaces, Camille is able to use the human-made landscape as a vessel for disseminating positivity.

"This approach feels all the more significant as we emerge from our homes and rediscover our surroundings in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic," says Counterpoint. "The question of how public spaces function has become increasingly important to our wellbeing, and the need to make our cities better, brighter, happier places is becoming more urgent."

By envisaging a future where cities are a melange of buildings in various colours and patterns, Camille ensures that populations will be able to experience moments of surprising fun that surprise the senses. It's her way of contributing to society and giving her work a grander purpose.

"Even starting small – one building in one community – she knows she can have a real impact on people's lives," adds Counterpoint. "And that impact continues to grow as her work becomes ever more ambitious and complex."

Designed by Jon Dowling and Céline Leterme, and presented with beautiful casebound binding, Raking Joy Seriously is available to order now for £35.


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