British artist Kate MccGwire creates surreal, enchanting sculptures made from fallen bird feathers. Sourced from local farms, gamekeepers, and pigeon racers, the iridescent, patterned plumage comes from a number of British birds, including magpies, pheasants, and roosters. The artist’s most recent work features feather-covered, snake-like forms that look like hybrid creatures hibernating within confines of antique bell jars, frames, and cabinets.
MccGwire first began working with feathers after discovering some fallen pigeon feathers near her rural art studio. Since then, she started collecting the organic material, and exploring “the play of opposites at an aesthetic, intellectual and visceral level.” Her sculptures feature overlapping inky blue and spotted brown feathers, laid in one direction. This composition creates a scale-like illusion of a snake coiled tightly and twisted around itself. MccGwire describes her work as being like umbilical cords, and explains her intention is to seduce the viewer, “but revolt in equal measure.” She explains, “It’s really important to me that you’ve got that rejection of things you think you know for sure.”
MccGwire regularly exhibits her work in various locations across Europe. You can find the artist’s current exhibitions, and more of her work on her website.