Feathers are a recurring material within Kate MccGwire’s spectacular sculptural works. By utilising pigeon feathers in particular, the artist begins to draw attention to the ways that beauty can be found in that which is often considered to be ugly. MccGwire’s sculptures, in their meticulous construction and in the frequent incorporation of protective glass domes and glass-fronted wooden cabinets, elevate such humble materials to the most precious of objects.
Drawing upon surrealist ideas of the uncanny and the aesthetics of historical museum display, her works hover between traditional binary categorisations of life and death, and animal and object. The artist’s sculptures open up the spaces in between these forms. They are unquestionably tactile, highly seductive and deeply unsettling.
MccGwire holds an MA in Sculpture from the Royal College of Art in London, where she now lives and works, and was invited to be a judge for the Aesthetica Art Prize in 2013. She has exhibited prodigiously across the UK and the rest of the world, including exhibitions in New York, Brussels, Paris, Düsseldorf, China and South Korea. Notably, she has exhibited several times in conjunction with the National Trust, placing her sculptural works into historical contexts that offer new perspectives.