Kate MccGwire’s Writhing, Absorbing Feather Sculptures Remix the Natural World

by Andy SmithPosted on

Kate MccGwire’s anthropomorphic pieces exude a naturally sourced beauty as they writhe and loom in place. Much of her sculptural and installation work uses materials from the animal world, like pheasant and crow feathers, to create something new entirely. The British sculptor uses a dozen verbs to describe what she does: “I gather, collate, re-use, layer, peel, burn, reveal, locate, question, duplicate, play and photograph.”



MccGwire was featured in Hi-Fructose Vol. 21. A statement describes how she began to use feathers in her work: “Growing up on the Norfolk Broads her connection with nature and fascination with birds was nurtured from an early age, with avian subjects and materials a recurring theme in her artwork.”




The results are visceral, absorbing entities that feel both kinetic and somehow alien. A recent exhibition, “Secrete,” brought her works to Galerie Huit in Hong Kong. The word has two meanings: concealing and generating. This duality is central to McGwire’s work, continuing to push new life into the world while depending on its existing creatures. And in a similar sense, there’s a wariness inspired by her sculptures and a magnetic quality.


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