Artwork Description / Detail
Layla Walter is a New Zealand cast glass artist who, following her emergence in the mid-1990s, has become recognised as a creator of exceptionally beautiful and skilful vessels.
Walter is among a group of young artists working with cast glass that have extended a technical process that was developed in New Zealand by the preceding generation of glass artists. The new group have been recognised for their role in changing the perceptions and possibilities of the medium of cast glass.
Walter’s approach to her own work reflects her influences within the New Zealand glass community, in particular the work of Ann Robinson and Elizabeth McClure. However, Walter’s innovation in the creation of her works sets her aside from any other New Zealand craft artist. Her practice of casting from hand-woven harakeke (flax) to create works imprinted with traditional Maori weaving is unprecedented. In artist statements Walter has often referred to this woven imprint as representative of the human imprint on the landscape. In these works Walter recognises the beauty and importance of traditional Maori craft and pays tribute to this through her rendering of the forms. Her sensitive handling of this appropriation shows her awareness of the cultural issues involved.
Walter works with locally produced lead crystal glass which is cast and then hand finished in a process similar to the ‘lost-wax’ method common to bronze casting. She is technically skilled and her process of hand finishing achieves a softness in her work that belies the nature of the medium.