feathers on the flume; kate mccgwire


Guile, 2011 Photo: Tessa Angus


Crave, 2011  Photo: Kate MccGwire


Seer, 2011 Photo: Tessa Angus


Rile, 2009 Photo: Francis Ware


Gag, 2009 Photo: JP Bland


Corvid, 2011 Photo: Tessa Angus


Sluice, 2009   Photo: Francis Ware


Evacuate, 2010 Photo: Jonty Wilde


I have had many a fellow feather-hoarder come to weave with me, I married a fowl man and have boxes of plumes awaiting new life so I am really excited to share this breathtaking work by British artist Kate MccGwire. I find her sculptures beautiful and unnerving in equal measure. It seems if we come close they will shiver with breath, making the viewer want to gently touch the plumes to feel the warmth that must lie beneath and unfurl the buried heads but rationally we know they are cold and ending in nothing. The cabinets and domes continue the allusion of these as natural specimens trapped in time.

MccGwire began by collecting the dropped moulting pigeon feathers on the way to her studio (on a barge in Hampton) and now receives parcels from poultry and bird breeders all over the UK. She is currently working on her upcoming solo show “Lure” which opens in North London later in the month (see beautiful poster below).  Kate says she’s going to send me pictures of some basket forms she made during her degree. Apparently she loved them but they looked a little too like a certain part of the male anatomy. Whatever path she needed to take to make these curving avian creations, I’m sure you’ll agree she’s on the right one now.

I had such trouble deciding which pics to choose from her website – there are so many that made me gasp.  Have a gander. (Sorry, I’m all feather-brained  – trust me,  a LOT of poultry puns were discarded in the writing of this post!)

x H.

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