Notes on Kate MccGwire

Makayla Berry

Kate MccGwire is a British sculptor. She was born in 1964 in Norwich UK, and now lives and works in London. She has studied at the University College for the Creative Arts as well as the Royal College of Art in London.  Her inspirations include Arthur Rackham, Gustav Klimt, Eva Hesse, Doris Salcedo, and Louise Bourgeois.003-1

MccGwire’s artist statement states, “I gather, collate, re-use, layer, peel, burn, reveal, locate, question, duplicate, play and photograph.” Her work is often described as having a quality of “otherness” which challenges our perceptions of the materials she uses and makes us question what we consider beautiful. She wants the viewer to question the uncertainty that hides behind everyday truths. She does this by using very common objects and materials, but displaying them in a strange way, which will evoke emotions in the viewer that they may not have associated with the object. With many of her pieces she successfully juxtaposes the feelings of, “…beauty and disgust, attraction and fear, and even elegance and power.”gy_250113_03

 Her earlier works (2004-2008) use materials such as chicken bones, string, noodles, plastic bags, and burnt paper. From 2008 to present she only uses feathers in her sculptures to create large intricate forms. She sometimes incorporates the site into her work, making the piece look as if it is a part of the room, or displays them in cabinets or display cases.