As London starts to get back on its feet after lockdown, Camille Walala and art collective Wood Street Walls have teamed up to create one of the capital's largest-scale public art projects – the transformation of an entire east London street.
Called the Walala Parade, it's the artist's first community-funded project, which raised £40,000 to make it a reality. It's an explosion of colour, creativity and joy on an otherwise grey and unremarkable parade of shops – spanning almost the entire block on Leyton High Road.
Featuring her usual bold palettes and dynamic geometries, the artwork was community-designed too – in keeping with Camille's determination that art should be accessible and engaging to the "public it serves". Local Londoners helped shape the final design by voting on their favourite online before it was painted.
"Art and colour have an amazing power to spread positivity, especially at the scale of the street," she says. "It's wonderful to have an opportunity to have such a significant impact on the look and feel of an entire neighbourhood and inspiring to be part of such a community-driven initiative. Waltham Forest is such an exciting and creative area of east London – now it's going to look the part, too."
Local businesses such as street food café Deeney's and animation studio Mighty Elk were early backers of the project, as they felt that their neglected streetscape would benefit from an artistic intervention and that Camille was the perfect creative to provide it. She worked with the street art collective Wood Street Walls to create the mural, which was painted by Absolutely Studio. Wood Street Walls founder Mark Clack said: "This will not only brighten up the High Road but help to cement Waltham Forest as a growing hub for creativity and we hope it will help to inspire a new generation of artists in the area."
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