Creative Industry Report: Kate Mccgwire

Kate Mccgwire is a distinguished British sculptor from Norfolk, famous for her works specifically using organic materials such as bird feathers – this distinguishes her from other sculptors based on her unique choice of material. Her interest with bird feathers sparked when she was on her way to her studio when she noticed molting feathers on the ground as the season transitioned into spring.

Puerta Roja | Kate MccGwire

With the use of feathers, Kate Mccgwire is able to create encapsulating works of art which focuses on the forms which are organic yet unsettling and alien to human understanding. Mccgwire aims to stimulate the emotion of discomfort among her audience by creating organic forms which seemingly have no start or end, unlike how we perceive nature. This loop of uncertainty in her work creates both disgust as well as curiosity in her audience.

WRANGLE, 2018, Kate MccGwire - Photo: JP Bland

In some of her works, Kate Mccgwire uses crow and raven feathers such as the one in Gag (2009) to change the perception of how ‘societal pests’ can be of value through the use of commonly overlooked materials in the form of art. The use of materials to convey such complex concepts in society elevates the value of her work as it incorporates aesthetics with an intellectual understanding.

Gag, 2009, Kate MccGwire

The aspect of Mccgwire’s work which intrigues is the use of commonly overlooked objects (waste to a certain extent) to produce aesthetically pleasing works with a strong focus on societal commentary. The phrase “anything can be art” was exceptionally prevalent through her work and it allowed me to humble myself and my perspective of how I view the world. One thing which I learned from Kate Mccgwire is that – art is how we give value to things, and how we want others to perceive it.


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