b. 1964, UK; lives and works in London
2002-04 Royal College of Art, London, MA
1996-01 University College for the Creative Arts, Farnham, BA
Kate MccGwire is known for her muscular, writhing forms made with feathers, and reminiscent of Classical sculpture and creatures from mythology. Her works explore dualities of aesthetics, being simultaneously seductive and repulsive; form, being both organic and abstract; and movement, appearing fluid yet static.
As she has noted: “I am interested in the interplay of opposites which runs like a leitmotif through everything I do. It is as if the work needs that tension to create its own internal equilibrium; it is an expression for me of the duality I see all around me and the materials I choose need to be able to physically embody this.”
The artist’s process of creation begins with the intense and repetitive method of collecting and preparing the feathers, where each of them is carefully examined and classified according to its size, shape and natural colour. In a compelling and meditative process, MccGwire arranges the feathers to mimic the overall form and patterning of the pieces informed and inspired by the anatomy of birds’ wings. Discarded, impermanent and overlooked materials have always fascinated the artist.