Kate MccGwire in productionCorvid, part of 'BOUND' exhibition (2011)  © Kate MccGwireCourtesy of ''All Visual Arts'' (AVA) Photo  © Tessa Angus

Kate MccGwire in production
Corvid, part of 'BOUND' exhibition (2011) © Kate MccGwire
Courtesy of ''All Visual Arts'' (AVA)
Photo © Tessa Angus

Feathers stand for protection and shelter and bring to our minds our need to fly above the everyday routine and reach for the unknown. They are also connected to mythical fairy tale creatures, symbolizing power and the art of enchantment. With their colors and their complex structure they magnetize and impose. British artist Kate MccGwire shares a fascination for feathers that begun like an accident and finally became a long term love affair. Her latest works are made entirely by feathers and, far from mere ornamentation, Kate uses them to create some really haunting pieces. Her feathers form strange shapes that appear to be alive, they come out of unexpected surfaces, they even invade space with some very surrealistic effects. We don’t know at which extend the artistic means condition the final result, but Kate’s work manages to transmit a certain kind of out of this world beauty, both imposing and fascinating.

Kate MccGwire in productionCorvid, part of 'BOUND' exhibition (2011)  © Kate MccGwire Courtesy of ''All Visual Arts'' (AVA) Photo  © Tessa Angus

Kate MccGwire in production
Corvid, part of 'BOUND' exhibition (2011) © Kate MccGwire
Courtesy of ''All Visual Arts'' (AVA)
Photo © Tessa Angus

Kate MccGwire in productionCorvid, part of 'BOUND' exhibition (2011)  © Kate MccGwire Courtesy of ''All Visual Arts'' (AVA) Photo  © Tessa Angus

Kate MccGwire in production
Corvid, part of 'BOUND' exhibition (2011) © Kate MccGwire
Courtesy of ''All Visual Arts'' (AVA)
Photo © Tessa Angus

Kate MccGwire’s latest work is called Corvid (2011) and forms part of the Bound exhibition (1 - 30 April 2011) in which she participates with fellow artist Alice Anderson. Together they inaugurate All Visual Arts’ (AVA) new space at Kings Cross, London, in the best possible way. Corvid, according to Kate, is a serpentine formation made of crows’ feathers, a bird associated in folklore with thieving and deviant behaviour. The crows' feathers used in Corvid were sent to her by gamekeepers and farmers who shoot the birds to stop them damaging crops and fledgling birds. A part of this story is reflected in Corvid that with its repeating pattern transmits a wicked kind of beauty.

Kate MccGwire in productionCorvid, part of 'BOUND' exhibition (2011)  © Kate MccGwire Courtesy of ''All Visual Arts'' (AVA) Photo  © Tessa Angus

Kate MccGwire in production
Corvid, part of 'BOUND' exhibition (2011) © Kate MccGwire
Courtesy of ''All Visual Arts'' (AVA)
Photo © Tessa Angus

Warp, 2010 © Kate MccGwireMixed media with magpie feathers 50 x 38 cm (diameter)Photo  © Tessa Angus

Warp, 2010 © Kate MccGwire
Mixed media with magpie feathers
50 x 38 cm (diameter)
Photo © Tessa Angus

SEPAL III  (2011) © Kate MccGwirePigeon feathers on Board framed41 x 41 x 7 cmPhoto  © Tessa Angus

SEPAL III  (2011) © Kate MccGwire
Pigeon feathers on Board framed
41 x 41 x 7 cm
Photo © Tessa Angus

SLICK (2011)  © Kate MccGwireAntique Fire basket, mixed-media with magpie and crow feathers. Dimensions 250 x 280 x 60 cmphoto © Tessa AngusCourtesy o

SLICK (2011) © Kate MccGwire
Antique Fire basket, mixed-media with magpie and crow feathers.
Dimensions 250 x 280 x 60 cm
photo © Tessa Angus
Courtesy of Pertwee Anderson & Gold, 15 Bateman Street, Soho, London

One of Kate’s more celebrated works is called Slick (2010), an in situ installation in a fireplace. The gloriously coloured feathers used in Slick come from the wings of magpies - just six on each magpie wing, their blue/green colour only apparent when the birds take flight. The final result is more than intriguing: in one hand one is magnetized by the beautiful colours of the feathers and the three dimensional effect of Slick and on the other hand one feels invaded, even slightly frightened by this mesmerizing mass that comes out of the fireplace instead of fire. Certainly intriguing, Kate’s work hides a lot of surprises for the stranger. This is apparent even in even older works, like Fume (2007), where she literally and metaphorically plays with fire: a hole burnt into the pages of a hand-made book resembles an inverted flower!

We invite you to get deep into Kate MccGwire’s universe, letting your imagination fly high!

detail >> SLICK (2011)  © Kate MccGwire Antique Fire basket, mixed-media with magpie and crow feathers.  Dimensions 250 x 280 x 60 cm photo © Te

detail >> SLICK (2011) © Kate MccGwire
Antique Fire basket, mixed-media with magpie and crow feathers.
Dimensions 250 x 280 x 60 cm
photo © Tessa Angus
Pertwee Anderson and Gold, 15 Bateman Street, Soho, London

FUME (2007)  © Kate MccGwireHandmade book, burnt38 x 80 x 13 cmPhoto © Tessa Angus

FUME (2007) © Kate MccGwire
Handmade book, burnt
38 x 80 x 13 cm
Photo © Tessa Angus

Stigma Series, 2011 © Kate MccGwirePigeon tail feathers, felt and lead 42.8 x 42.8 x 7 cm Series, each work uniquePhoto © Tessa Angus

Stigma Series, 2011 © Kate MccGwire
Pigeon tail feathers, felt and lead
42.8 x 42.8 x 7 cm
Series, each work unique
Photo © Tessa Angus

Evacuate, 2010, detail © Kate MccGwire Site-specific installation Mixed media with feathers (Mallard, goose, peacock, pheasant, teal,  woodcock, woodp

Evacuate, 2010, detail © Kate MccGwire
Site-specific installation
Mixed media with feathers (Mallard, goose, peacock, pheasant, teal, woodcock, woodpigeon, quail, grouse, French partridge, turkey and chicken)
400 x 350 x 120 cm (approximately)
Photo © Jonty Wilde

Evacuate, 2010  © Kate MccGwireSite-specific installation Mixed media with feathers (Mallard, goose, peacock, pheasant, teal,  woodcock, woodpigeon, q

Evacuate, 2010 © Kate MccGwire
Site-specific installation
Mixed media with feathers (Mallard, goose, peacock, pheasant, teal, woodcock, woodpigeon, quail, grouse, French partridge, turkey and chicken)
400 x 350 x 120 cm (approximately)
Photo © Jonty Wilde

Evacuate, 2010, detail © Kate MccGwire Site-specific installation Mixed media with feathers (Mallard, goose, peacock, pheasant, teal,  woodcock, woodp

Evacuate, 2010, detail © Kate MccGwire
Site-specific installation
Mixed media with feathers (Mallard, goose, peacock, pheasant, teal, woodcock, woodpigeon, quail, grouse, French partridge, turkey and chicken)
400 x 350 x 120 cm (approximately)
Photo © Jonty Wilde

Sluice, 2009 © Kate MccGwireSite Specific installationPigeon feathers, felt, glue and polystyrene4.5 x 2.5 x .5 m.Photo © Francis Ware

Sluice, 2009 © Kate MccGwire
Site Specific installation
Pigeon feathers, felt, glue and polystyrene
4.5 x 2.5 x .5 m.
Photo © Francis Ware

Heave, 2008 © Kate MccGwirePigeon flight-feathers, felt and wood installation160 x 80 x 55 cm

Heave, 2008 © Kate MccGwire
Pigeon flight-feathers, felt and wood installation
160 x 80 x 55 cm

BOUND
1st - 30th April 2011
Alice Anderson & Kate MccGwire
Inaugural exhibition at All Visual Arts /AVA , Omega Place, Kings Cross, London, N1 9DR

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The feather explosions of Kate MccGwire

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