Feather Metamorphosis: The Work of Kate MccGuire

Kate MccGuire

Kate MccGuire

Kate MccGuire Kate MccGuire

British artist Kate MccGuire begins her artist’s statement with the following proposal: “I gather, collate, re-use, layer, peel, burn, reveal, locate, question, duplicate, play and photograph.” Although this proclamation sheds light on the evocative nature of her practice, it fails to mention the one thing that blew me away when I first viewed one of her installations: she quite often incorporates feathers into the structure of her pieces.

And it’s not just a matter of collecting a few pigeon feathers scattered around urban centres, MccGuire uses the plumage from a diverse range of birds, including mallard, goose, peacock, pheasant, teal, woodcock, woodpigeon, quail, grouse, French partridge, turkey and chicken. Assorting and juxtaposing the quills of these feathered friends, she creates strangely organic and metamorphic works that appear like slithering and writhing creatures. Flirting on the boundary between horrifically creepy and strikingly beautiful, MccGuire’s installations highlight how an unexpected material can be appropriated to produce new modes of representation.

MccGuire is currently exhibiting with Alice Anderson at the All Visual Arts’ new space in Kings Cross, London until 31 April 2011.



April 12, 2011