Kate MccGwire is a British sculptor that creates uncanny organic feather sculptures from layers of selected bird feathers.
These organic creations are strangely curled up and intertwined, covered by wonderful pearly colored feathers.The objects she creates are so precisely assembled that they seem to form hybrid creatures with tentacles or limbs that twist and curve into unexpected forms.
MccGwire grew up on the Norfolk Broads, a network of rivers and lakes in eastern England where her connection with nature and fascination with birds was nurtured from an early age. Today the artist patiently collects pigeon and mallard feathers which are carefully washed and sorted in preparation for each new sculpture.
Collecting and sorting naturally molted feathers from different species of birds, MccGwire sculpts her feathers into freestanding or site-specific works, her forms evolving intuitively and subconsciously based on subtle patterns or details within the feathers.
Kate’s practice probes the beauty inherent in duality, employing natural materials to explore the play of opposites at an aesthetic, intellectual and visceral level. Since graduating from the Royal College of Art in 2004 her uncanny sculptures have been exhibited at the Saatchi Gallery (London), the Museum of Art and Design (New York), Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature (Paris) and most recently at the Venice Biennale, 2015 .
For MccGwire, collecting and working with feathers is a way to venerate the typically overlooked and the otherwise repulsive.