Camille Rousseau

The journey to the day job, despite being a right royal pain in the ar$e and a lesson in the endurance of public transport, takes me along a street which boasts some lovely eateries. Most of these are of the bistro variety, each having it’s own unique identity and offering everything from French cuisine to Chinese take-away’s. And nestled in the midst’s of these is a branch of Zizzi’s Italian Restaurants. Barely a month goes by without one or more of these businesses undergoing a refurbishment. Lately, it’s been the turn of Zizzi’s and whoever was in charge of the refit has done a sterling job.

Anyone who knows me knows that food and I are hardly the best of friends. Some would call me a fussy eater. I say that I just know what I like. Fortunately, Italian cuisine is one of the few types of menu from which I’m able to find something that I can actually eat. But that’s another story…

Because Zizzi is a chain one could easily be forgiven for thinking that each of it’s restaurants would look like the next. But this appears to be anything but true. To lend weight to this, the powers in charge of the refit have commissioned a wonderful mural from talented French artist Camille Rousseau.

The route to my office takes me past Zizzi’s and fortunately this part of my daily journey is on foot. So for a week or so I’ve been able to check the refurbishment progress on almost a daily basis. I became particularly excited when, early one morning, a delivery of Emeco Navy Chairs were being unloaded from the back of a van. I knew then that something special was happening. Over the next few days my lunchtime walk took me past Zizz’s expanse of picture windows and through these I’d been fortunate to witness the development of their mural. I’d been catching it in various stages of completion although the artist was never working on it. To my delight, on the final day, I caught a glimpse of Camille at work. Of course I didn’t know who she was at the time, figuring that she was one of the interior designer’s or a local artist perhaps. As I passed the windows this final time, Camille had stopped work as she was being filmed by a fellow over in the corner. I glanced in, she glanced out. I like to think that my smile showed an appreciation for her work, but she looked away again and was quickly back to the job in hand.

Jump forward a few days. In my inbox sat a Zizzi’s newsletter. Now I can’t remember ever subscribing to this, which in itself is spooky, but the newsletter boasted about the refurbishment and in particular introduced Camille as the artist I’d seen. They were even helpful enough to give a link to a YouTube video of the murals creation. So that’s what the camera guy was up to.

If you play the video, at the 1min 53sec mark, you’ll see where we exchanged glances and although I’m not actually in the shot trust me, I am on the other side of that window (ignore the startled look on Camille’s face though, I have that effect on all the ladies).

I’ve since found out that Camille has also completed a mural for a Zizzi’s in a new development at Central St. Giles in London.

Camille’s client list is impressive boasting the likes of The East India Company, Zizzi Restaurant, Wallpaper* Magazine, Diesel, and Blueprint Magazine.

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