Layla Holzer – Illustrator, Puppeteer, Storyteller.

I am a Cardiff based illustrator, specialising in fairy tales, gender conflict, the uncanny, the monstrous-feminine and morality. I create visual narratives that are inspired by the darkness within the real world, using poetic metaphors and uncanny motifs through paintings, installations, books, films and puppetry to help beguile, enchant and illuminate.

Ultimately, I seek to inspire and encourage people to question the mistakes of our world and adopt wiser moral judgment, through use of cautionary tales and uncanny punishment.

“The enchantments universalize the narrative setting, encipher concerns, beliefs and desires in brilliant, seductive images that are themselves a form of camouflage, making it possible to utter harsh truths, to say what you dare.”
– Marina Warner

In 2014 I completed an MA in Art and Design where I focused on exploring gender conflict through puppetry and film, creating five puppetry films alongside an in-depth exploration into themes of gender conflict in Jan Švankmajer’s film Jabberwocky for my thesis. Since finishing my postgraduate studies, my research into these areas continues along with an ever-seeking ambition to question what illustration is and what it can do, and particularly, its relationship with puppetry.

I am an Associate Lecturer for the BA (hons) Illustration programme at Cardiff School of Art and Design and I also run courses in Narrative Illustration, Puppet Making, Paper Cutting and Shadow Puppetry through Cardiff Open Art School – Click here for more details.