Nikki Main’s fascination with water and rivers, in particular, provide her with the inspiration for her elegant and tactile glass forms. The play of light across the water’s surface and the movement of water in the landscape contrasts with the solidity of the stones on the river bed. Nikki’s interest is in the “bones” of a landscape and the way the presence of water is a critical element in providing fertility and structure to the soil. The water, too, has its own flow and shape. As we look at Nikki’s pieces we can imagine the twists of a river or a cascade of water over rocks. The blown glass forms mirror the shapes of river stones and provide a canvas for the glass powders. The colours of these powders reference materials such as moss, sediment and even reptile skin found on the water’s edge and the shapes, seemingly smoothed and fashioned over time, demonstrate the power of water. As a contrast, the vessel form suggests containment and represents the human need to capture inland water for personal use. As the artist says of her work “Both forms stand as sentinels, timeless and still – watching and waiting”.
Nikki graduated from the Australian National University with Bachelor of Arts (Visual) and first class honours in 2008. She also has a Masters degree in Education and a Bachelor of Applied Science in Health Education, both from the University of Canberra. Nikki teaches part-time at the ANU’s glass workshop and the Canberra Glassworks. In 2010, Nikki Main became the first glass artist to win the prestigious Waterhouse Art Prize at the South Australian Museum and has been selected twice as a finalist in the Ranamok Glass Prize, in 2011 and 2012.