An otherwise nondescript East London high street has been transformed with a riot of color in what is being touted as one of London's largest-scale public art work projects. Internationally-renowned artist Camille Walala decorated an entire block of shops in Leyton with her signature geometric bright prints, lifting locals spirits as they emerged from lockdown.

Residents of Leyton crowdfunded £40,000 to give their neglected high street a makeover this summer as part of an appeal raised by street art collective Wood Street Walls and a consortium of local business owners including Scottish street food café Deeney’s and animation studio Mighty Elk, who felt like their high street could do with some artistic intervention. The community-funded project 'Walala Parade' stretches across the facade of eight different buildings, and will be a permanent feature in Leyton.

Aerial shot of Walala Parade.jpg
Local business owners together with street art collective Wood Street Walls campaigned for the project ©Highflyingdroneshots

"When public art is approached in a collaborative spirit with good intentions and passion, it can have a significant and positive effect on the communities, residents and businesses it inhabits," said Mark Clack of Wood Street Walls. "We started Wood Street Walls to highlight key social issues affecting our city, from the impact of violent crime to our young people, the lack of affordable artist workspace, to what we intended this project to be; a striking way to help promote the local economy and instil a sense of civic pride where people live and work."

Shopfronts in East London decorated in Camille Walala murals
The Camille Walala art murals will be a permanent feature in Leyton ©Tim Crocker

"We also believe painting an entire parade can help stimulate footfall and help promote the local economy now more people are working remotely - we hope in this small way this can aid to a strong local economy coming out of lockdown and living through a pandemic."

Close-up of Walala Parade
Residents voted on the final design ©Tim Crocker

The artwork was not only community-funded, but community-designed too. Camille Walala invited Londoners to help shape the final design by voting for their favourite online. London-based French artist Walala has already left her mark in numerous murals dotted around East London, and in neighborhoods across New York, Melbourne and Arkansas, attracting clients such as Harrods, Nintendo, Facebook and Lego along the way.

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