If you don’t recognise Camille Walala, there’s
a good chance you’ll recognise her work. Larger-than-life, bright, geometric and
beautiful - she’s known for the art she creates all over East London and
beyond. To date, her talent has been called on by the likes of Harrods and
Giorgio Armani and her most recent project was designing the interiors of the
incredible SALT Resort in Mauritius (which you can win a trip to here!). Below
we caught up with the French artist to find out what influences her, what she’s
looking forward to next and her experience designing the stunning Mauritian hotel...
Describe your design aesthetic in three words… Bold, colourful, joyful.
What is your favourite aspect of SALT of Palmar and the island of Mauritius? I love SALT of Palmar for its sustainable approach, delicious food and it's fantastic beach location. The views are breath-taking! This island is full of incredible landscapes, from tropical forests to postcard beach views. The people on the island are also very warm and welcoming and designing the hotel meant I was able to work with and get to know the incredible local community.
What were your main influences when designing it? All my design work is influenced by the local environment and community. For SALT of Palmar the starting point was the colourful houses found across the island of Mauritius - I wanted to bring the vibe and warmth of the island into the hotel.
What project are you most proud of? The building on Old Street in London is still my favourite as it was the first big building I worked on. The project marked a major turning point in my career and was a dream come true. I wanted to show people how injecting colour into the city can transform the urban environments and hopefully bring a smile to people who pass by.
What would you like to achieve next? I want to do more public art. I am working on a commission for a set of public benches at the moment – it is my mission to create joyful installations that disrupt all the grey and concrete!
If you could be locked in any building or gallery overnight, which would you choose? I would go to the Louvre in Paris, as it’s always too busy and very quickly overwhelming. But if I had the place to myself for a night - woah!
What did you want to be growing up? A Majorette, performing in a parade in my village in the south of France.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given? Persevere – it took a lot of hard work and graft to get to where I am today.
Home is…? My sanctuary.
The book everyone should read? I don’t know about everyone but I love Stefan Zweig books.
Guilty pleasure? I'm addicted to cheese.
Love of your life? My incredible partner in life and work, Julia Jomaa.
Wardrobe weakness? Ugg boots... I wear them in my studio when it's super cold in winter.
Always in your bag… Red lipstick.
How do you take a moment for yourself (to relax and unwind)? I meditate or I go for a long walk in the morning with my partner.
Next adventure? A road trip in France!
Follow Camille on Instagram @camillewalala and visit her website here