All posts by Makayla Ivana Berry

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.




Hey, I’m Makayla. I don’t have much experience with painting, but when I do paint, I tend to create large scale abstract expressionist pieces. Some of my favourite painters are Joan Mitchell, Adolph Gottlieb, and Mark Tobey. Although I really enjoy painting, I am much more passionate about photography. My work is usually strongly influenced by the natural world, and trying to capture the overlooked beauty in it. Most of my recent work has been strangely inspired by dead insects. Here’s a link to a really interesting series by one of my favourite photographers,