Don’t be fooled by silky smooth coiling sculptures by Kate MccGwire. They may at first glance appear to be serpent-like but are, in fact, composed of feathers provided by farmers, gamekeepers, and pigeon racers.
The British artist contains the pieces tightly inside frames, cabinets, and bell jars, making the audience feel suffocated and a tad uncomfortable given the snake-like appearance of each piece. MccGwire was inspired to begin the project after stumbling upon a pigeon colony with heaps of feathers near her studio. In particular, magpie and mallard feathers feature an inky blue aesthetic with exotic patterns.
She recently told Artnews, “I’m thinking of it as being like an umbilical cord. I want to seduce by what I do—but revolt in equal measure. It’s really important to me that you’ve got that rejection of things you think you know for sure.”