Even though Old Street Station in east London is located in one of the most creative parts of the city, the buildings surrounding the underground station are, as a rule, pretty boring—corporate giants or slightly rundown shops. Walk along the street, however, and you’ll soon come across a building that is a complete homage to creativity and color: artist Camille Walala’s “Dream Come True” creation for Splice.
The idea came from photographer Jenny Lewis, who previously introduced artists such as Crispin Finn and Martin Usborne to Splice’s foyer shows. “When Splice took this building over a year ago I immediately thought of Camille’s work,” says Lewis. “We had been supporting each other’s projects for a long time on Instagram and both live in Hackney so we met up, hit it off and the #walaladreamcometruebuilding seed was planted.”
It is the largest piece Walala has taken on so far, and the outcome is spectacular. The massive building has been transformed from a plain black monolith into a supremely colorful, eye-catching work of art. Lewis compares it to “the best ice cream sundae with sprinkles on top” and Walala speaks happily of the amazing feedback the project has received from people in the street. “I have seen a lot of people smiling, or come to me and say that that was ‘a gift for the city.’ One morning when we came to carry on the painting, we found a Post-it on the wall saying, ‘ALL BUILDINGS SHOULD BE COLORFUL!’ That gave me such a nice warm feeling,” the artist tells CH.
The design of the building could have posed a problem, as Walala couldn’t paint on the windows and metal parts, but she took it in her stride. “I had to work with these elements and come up with a design—I liked the challenge!” she says. The resulting graphic zig-zags and turquoise fields are nicely juxtaposed against the black windows. Though there is a risk that the front of the house will be covered by an advertisement a few months down the line, the side of it will remain in its current guise, brightening up the street. And hopefully the “Dream Come True” building will not only cheer up by passers-by, but also inspire other companies to think about their workspaces in more playful, innovative ways.
Images courtesy of Jenny Lewis