I am in awe of Kate MccGwire’s unique, otherworldly sculptures. Using layers of bird feathers, the artist creates organic forms sometimes suggestive of human anatomy or strange hybrid creatures. The pieces undulate and writhe under glass domes or sweep and spill into rooms, their surfaces a painstakingly precise pattern of feathers. A network of racing pigeon enthusiasts, game bird hunters, and farmers protecting their crops provide the artist with the feathers required for her work. Crows, magpies, and pigeons, common birds and those thought of as pests, are elevated by MccGwire’s work, their feathers appearing almost unrecognizably regal.

MccGwire began her feather sculptures at the time of the bird flu epidemic. “I became interested in the dichotomy between the perfection of these feathers and their potential for disease,” she said in an interview with Don’t Panic. In her work, MccGwire explores many dualities: beauty/disgust, malice/tranquility, familiar/unknown. She states, “I am interested in how we are drawn to things but repelled by them at the same time – the familiar, when seen out of place, that defies reason and therefore alarms us.”

Visit artist's site: katemccgwire.com