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Spiraling Mural Made of 23,000 Wishbones

Generally, when we think of wishbones, we think of the prospect of good fortune. Wishbones symbolize an indicator of good luck. The popular custom of two people playing a gentle tug of war to break a wishbone ends in one person holding the larger piece, granting them a wish. It's a quick and jovial game that somehow makes us forget that we're playing superstitiously with the bones of a bird. Similar to that effect, artist Kate MccGwire's piece titled Brood presents a pristine white spiral of approximately 23,000 chicken wishbones – the large-scale mural reads like a dream upon first glance but ultimately represents a winding grave.

MccGwire's installation offers a wall of uniformly aligned wishbones, each one representing a dead soul. In the work's statement, it reads: “For ‘Brood', MccGwire selected only the remains of battery-farmed chickens, the unnatural GM uniformity of the bones is shocking: transferring the ancient practices of witchcraft to a much more contemporary and scary one.” There is a further connection drawn to humankind in this piece, as it is meant to represent lost life, in general: “En masse the bones recall a cull, a killing field, the horrors of genocide and slaughter of innocents.”

Kate MccGwire website
via [Job's Wife, The Saatchi Gallery]


Pinar Noorata is the Managing Editor at My Modern Met. She is a writer, editor, and content creator based in Brooklyn, NY. She earned her BA in Film and Media Studies from CUNY Hunter College and is an alumni of the Center for Arts Education’s Career Development Program in NYC. She has worked at major TV, film, and publishing companies as well as other independent media businesses. When she isn’t writing, editing, or creating videos herself, Pinar enjoys watching movies, reading, crafting, drawing, and volunteering at her local animal shelter.
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