WELCOME TO WALALAND

When we discover we like something, REALLY like something, we can get a little stuck on a few superficial details, the things that attracted us from the start. Moving to London for university a year ago had been extremely positive for me for many reasons, but for my appreciation of art, it’s been monumental. It gave me the realisation that watching a few vintage YouTube clips and wearing some equally vintage clothes does not a sophisticate maketh: I was but a glittery but uninformed suburbanite in the big city.

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London containing such an endless amount of galleries, book shops, plays, poetry readings and wildly knowledgable arty farty folk means it can release you from a self-formed creative ghetto and open your mind to more.

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But on this particular occasion, it was something on a much smaller scale: reading the Home section of the London Evening Standard.

Months later after the picture with Camille’s Old Street artwork was taken, I read that very designer was having a launch party in Islington furniture shop Aria two weekends from then.

A chance to meet and greet my new favourite artist (the only one I knew of)!

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The article was kind enough not to include the details of the event, so by grasping the vast power of the search bar on Instagram, I got the date, RSVPed and planned my outfit (something to flamboyantly draw attention to myself whilst complementing the artist’s aesthetic, a sartorial nod of respect.)

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I made my glamorous entrance (two rides on classically pongy red buses) and joined the queue of the evening’s attendees: a typical North London ‘media’ crowd, or so the middle market dailies would say.

Hilariously, I signed up with my Mediterranean-inspired stage name Gavino di Vino, taking delight in correcting the host (no, not Davina {though she is fabulous.})

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The showroom obviously heaving with art lovers and freeloaders, I asked was asked to wait in the queue until some people had left.

With a shrug of my shoulders, I took the opportunity to do my own spot of freeloading, asking polite strangers for spare cigarettes (something I love to do, but hate to reciprocate when someone asks me.)

I tapped the shoulder belonging to a lady with curly caramel blonde hair to flash the teeth of a cheeky beggar and oulah ! artist Camille turned with wild but friendly eyes.

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