Kate MccGwire
British, born 1964
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Selected exhibitions
2017
Glasstress Boca Raton,
Boca Raton Museum of Art
Iconoclasts: Art Out of the Mainstream,
Saatchi Gallery
2015
Complicit,
Coates & Scarry

Creating otherworldly, sensuous sculptures from feathers, Kate MccGwire explores the complexities and grotesque underbelly of beauty. Referencing Sigmund Freud’s “Unheimliche”, or “unhomely”, MccGwire renders the familiar fearful, often triggering a visceral response in the viewer. 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. In SECRETE (2014), feathers pool out onto the floor of the exhibition space from a metal cone, while smaller works like SHROUD (2013) and SMOTHER (2013) are housed in bell jars and resemble living creatures that appear as if they might come to life at any moment. For MccGwire, collecting and working with feathers is a way to venerate the typically …

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