Artist Spotlight Nancy Qin

share your creative practice:
in conversation with nancy qin

  • What influences translate into your art practice?

I’m really influenced by the artists around me and their passion and work ethic. I look up to my mentor Kate Baker as well as all the glass artists I’ve met along the way and how much research and effort they’ve put in and their generosity in sharing their knowledge with young artists like me. I think it’s made me aware of how much each person can contribute to their community and how important it is to carry that spirit forward in my own art practice.


I’m really excited about going to North Lands as I know it is a creative hub for glass artists that I really admire like Kirsty Rea and Angela Thwaites. And I can’t wait to find out what it’s like for myself!



  • What initially captured your imagination about glass?

Glass is a magical material. It holds all these contradictions in its strength and fragility and its ability to distort things as much as reveal them. It’s such a common material that people interact with in their everyday and yet when they hear a sculpture is made of glass there’s this immediate intrepidation, it’s because glass has all these preexisting associations with it and I love being able to play with the storytelling qualities it has in my art.



  • What’s the significance of the handmade to you?

I think what draws me to the handmade is the dialogue between the medium and the artist. The thousands of hours put into mastering the craft, all the trial and errors and by the end of it I feel like the material has moulded the maker into as different a form as the maker has made the material. I certainly feel like working with glass has given me more patience and resilience to work through the failures and tougher hands to deal with the cuts.



  • What was your route to becoming an artist?

My route to becoming an artist was long and winding. I knew it was what I wanted to be but there were a lot of pitfalls along the way, however looking back I feel like there was an invisible hand guiding me through it all. Like every time I was ready to give up and become an accountant or something, some opportunity or encouragement would hook me along and I just couldn’t resist the call. This will sound corny but I felt like the world echoed my inner desire to make art.



  • How would you describe your work and where do you think it fits within the sphere of contemporary glass?

My work uses glass as a storytelling device, I like to work with figurative forms of objects that also have a history behind them and combine it with the material of glass to show a different perspective. I’d like to take glass out of the traditionally craft bubble and give it more of a platform in contemporary sculpture as a material that can give a unique commentary simply with its existing qualities.


NC Qin’s sculptural practice examines the human psyche and seeks to express abstract emotional experiences in visual analogies. Through the medium of cast glass, she connects the process of material creation and engagement with evolutionary desires to grow and master our circumstances