Layla Walter


There is a remarkable stillness...[1]

Heavy blooms, chirruping birds, slender lines and loosely-woven strands may be found embellishing the cast-glass objects created by Layla Walter. Piece by piece they form a meticulous and graceful botanical index- from water-lillies to magnolia, japonica to dahlia. Peonies and hydrangea, hibiscus, amaryllis, kowhai and camellia have also been captured in relief upon attenuated bowls and tall vases. Playful forms of native birds such as tui, kokako and black robins also appear. The lips and collars of some vessels seem to have been woven in glass, quoting intricate vocabularies of fibre craft and the absorbing imperfections of basketry.

There are glass vases either tall and slim or large and generous, bowls that are small and contained or open and wide. Adorned with motifs from near and afar as well as flora and fauna both familiar and exotic every piece glows with a crystalline brillance in a heady array of colours. Fresh and clean tones of lilac, faded rhubarb pink, grassy green, lemon yellow, indigo, magenta, turquoise, peppermint and apricot-peach are alternated with rich, intense hues such as red and gold, amber or kelp-like orange, smoky charcoals, browns and deep black.

Using a glass-casting method based on historic lost-wax techniques of bronze casting, the process of making such vessels is slowly followed, step by step, again and again. Blossoms, birds or fluid lines are painstakingly carved into wax forms. The wax is then melted out of moulds and replaced by locally-produced, molten lead-crystal glass which is fired in a kiln then slowly cooled. A cast-glass vessel is produced and sanded by hand to obtain the desired finish. Every work is a testament to careful carving, elemental heat, various speeds and slowness, patience and strength.

Alight and glowing yet heavy and significant these crafted objects are the traces of meditation and care. One can follow the tactile detail of carved forms both inside and outside of these vessels and this complexity is balanced with expanses of plainess or smooth glass. Pregnant with time these objects operate inbetween function and display encouraging contemplation and aching to be lived with. For a moment the fleeting is captured in glass and the ephemeral is coloured and formed.


Layla Walter (b. 1975) currently lives and works in Auckland and completed a Bachelor of Design at Unitec, Auckland in 1998. She has exhibited works nationally and internationally in private galleries as well as public art institutions. Recent solo exhibitions include: Second Harvest (William Traver Gallery, Seattle, 2010), Harvest (AVID, Wellington, 2010) and Blue Bird (Anna Bibby, Auckland, 2008). She has also exhibited within curated exhibitions and group shows such as: Kirsty Gorman, Peter Peryer and Layla Walter (Melanie Roger, Auckland, 2011), Botanical Show (USA, 2010) and Luminaries (Sabbia Gallery, Sydney, 2009.) Walter has received much recognition for her work, including a Creative Excellence Prize at the 2008 Molly Morpeth Canaday 3D Awards. In addition to working for an extended period of time with senior glass artist Ann Robinson, her work is held in major public and private collections including: the Auckland Museum, Te Papa Tongarewa, Museum of New Zealand (Wellington) as well as Department of Foreign Affairs, NZ Embassy (in Washington DC, Tehran and Cairo).

For additional information and a complete CV please contact the gallery.

[1] Helen Schamroth, ‘Layla Walter I SOLO 2002’ Masterworks Solo Exhibition Brochure, 2002

Selected Media.

    Helen Schamroth, Masterworks catalogue


  1. An Occasional Rant | Female representation in New Zealand Galleries
  2. Layla Walter | Pacific Flower | Corbans Estate Arts Centre