Kate MaccGwire ケイト・マクグァイアー




Sluice 2009、 Kate MccGwire、photo Francis Ware

・ ケイト・マクグイアー新作展、LURE

本人のメッセージ:Kate MccGwire LURE
23rd November – 16th February 2013
Tuesday – Saturday 10 – 6 pm

Her latest exhibition Lure takes the form of a wunderkammer of uncanny specimens and images; coiled, bound and cased in antique glass cabinets. In particular, the voluptuous Orchis manipulates this familiar museum display to enhance the sense of its exoticism and lifelike form. Beneath a glass dome, it hangs limp between the teeth of a scientific clamp, appearing to have been temporarily coerced into submission. The case gives the work the impression of authenticity and familiarity as a specimen of some unstudied creature, isolated within the familiar framework of natural history. Similarly, Cleave, a work in white pigeon feathers has been constrained within a glass cabinet. Challenging our impulse to perceive pigeons as diseased and parasitic creatures, Cleave explores the purity and sensuality of form to attract our gaze. Delving into and out of itself over and again, we fall prey to its allure and undulating physicality. MccGwire’s preoccupation with natural fibres and their creative potential, in particular with hair, is enacted in Splice. The intricately plaited magpie feathers reference MccGwire’s enduring interest in the mythological significance of hair. Placed in this context the meaning twists from girlish plait to something knotted, visceral, anguished and dark.

 Dominating the space is the monumental presence of Gyre, a large installation piece bringing together MccGwire’s enduring themes through its gestural obsidian form. Formed from a vast collection of crow feathers, the piece refers to the cultural mythologies of crows as devious creatures, omens of bad luck when seen in pairs and closely associated with death due to their unbidden presence on battlefields and graveyards. These unconscious associations are inscribed in the silken black surface of the structure, and intensify as Gyre’s sheer scale causes it to exceed the boundaries of the cabinet, viscerally invading the formal space of the gallery. The piece appears organic, almost umbilical as its tendrils entwine with one another, wrapped closely to the structure evoking the primal dependence of both mother and child, and the parasite.

Kate MccGwire Sculpture

 MccGwire’s avian structures appear rooted in the aesthetic of natural history, taking on its associations of intellectual dominance, decadence and display. The pieces adopt the qualities of their material – appropriating the abject signification of bird feathers to create hybrids. Lifeless wings seem poised to take flight yet remain tethered, their momentum restrained, giving the sculptures a seething, serpentine quality. The culture of display is also key to the works, exploiting the perverse attraction to possess the abject and unfamiliar creature, and to frame it within a culture driven by aesthetic hierarchy. As MccGwire describes her pieces, they represent something ‘both sensual and deviant in equal measure’.

 Lure’s seductive yet unsettling collection of hybrid forms and expansive sculpture causes us to look more closely and to examine our relationship to such quotidian materials. Though they appear disturbing and unfamiliar at first glance, there is something strangely recognisable about their form – their creases and crevices seem somehow bodily, allowing us to identify some small part of ourselves in the sculptures.  This unexpected familiarity is at the heart of the work, allowing us to recognise the parasitic, wounded and traumatic dimensions of works such as Stigma in which feathers appear to tear lesions in the surface of the lead. MccGwire’s work recontextualises natural materials, creating an impossible menagerie of writhing forms that expose both the beauty and darkness of nature, and reflect our own fears and vulnerability in their swelling shadows.

 Kate MccGwire – January 2013

All Visual Arts
2 Omega Place
Kings Cross
London N1 9DR
United Kingdom


GYRE (3) 2012 Photo Tessa Angus


GYRE (1) Photo Tessa Angus


ORCHIS Photo Tessa Angus



OCCULUS (2) Photo Tessa Angus


CLEAVE (1) Photo Tessa Angus