Fly Away
May 20, 2010 9:03 PM   Subscribe

Kate MccGwire makes creepy, writhing, gorgeous sculptures...out of feathers.

She is currently featured at the Tatton Park Biennial, where she used feathers from the types of birds that would have been cooked in the Tatton Park oven in the past 300 years.
posted by emilyd22222 (26 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
Flight of fancy!
posted by darkstar at 9:06 PM on May 20, 2010

These are gorgeous!
posted by Bergamot at 9:21 PM on May 20, 2010

I don't think I have ever said, "Wow." out loud with regards to something that I just viewed on the internet, and certainly not three times in a row. I don't think I've ever seen anything quite that stunning before.
posted by komara at 9:28 PM on May 20, 2010

Mesmerizing. I particularly love the long shots of Heave (the piece with feathers flowing out of the gallery wall). The organic materials and form absolutely leap out against a modern and minimal setting.

I love pieces like this, that draw the eye from a distance and also offer amazing texture and detail when viewed closely.
posted by EvaDestruction at 9:38 PM on May 20, 2010

Incredible. I was not expecting that at all.
posted by spiderskull at 9:45 PM on May 20, 2010

Hell yes, these are fantastic.
posted by smoke at 9:48 PM on May 20, 2010

Is it explained somewhere why these feathers appear to have numbers printed on them, and others appear to have words or random alphanumerics?
posted by a snickering nuthatch at 9:51 PM on May 20, 2010

Jpfed, she gets most of her feathers from pigeon breeders, and those are probably serial numbers or "lost pigeon" notes to people that find them. In the second link you can see some feathers say "I am lost" on them.
posted by ged at 10:15 PM on May 20, 2010

Unreal, and utterly spectacular.
posted by rtha at 10:22 PM on May 20, 2010

Awesome. I also really like her singed/burned books.
posted by carsonb at 10:31 PM on May 20, 2010

posted by cirripede at 10:52 PM on May 20, 2010

Wow. Sorry I haven't got more to add than this. Just... wow.
posted by harriet vane at 11:01 PM on May 20, 2010

Okay, something in those triggered my OH FUCKING GOD GET AWAY reflex. I'm not entirely sure why, but every hair on my body is now standing on end and my inner monkey is trying to climb a tree and hurl rocks at things until it calms down.
posted by Scattercat at 11:35 PM on May 20, 2010 [4 favorites]

Amazing. The only tiny grouse I have are the rather prosaic names she has for her wonderful pieces. They seem to deserve more...graceful names. For some of them, I keep expecting that the coiling, shifting shapes will reveal some fantastic creatures like a feathered serpent or griffon.
posted by Alnedra at 11:37 PM on May 20, 2010

Scattercat, do you have a phobia of reptiles or snakes? Some of the pieces seem rather snake-like to me, so it might be triggering those phobias.

Burhanistan, I wasn't thinking of "high-flown labels" exactly, but graceful words, like... "Embrace", or "Winding" perhaps. Words that have a more musical or even whimsical feel to them.

I would want to reach out and stroke some of these pieces if I ever saw them in person.
posted by Alnedra at 2:13 AM on May 21, 2010

The extra "c" is for "cPretentious".
posted by DecemberBoy at 2:32 AM on May 21, 2010

These are wonderful... I want to touch them. Awesome that they're all molted feathers. Many have a strongly reptilian feel, doubtless as the feathers mimic scales to a degree, which might help explain scattercat's visceral reaction.
posted by kinnakeet at 5:43 AM on May 21, 2010

Tiny grouse.
posted by rtha at 6:16 AM on May 21, 2010 [2 favorites]

Beautiful stuff.

I'm not sure "creepy" applies to any of it, but we're a society obsessed with calling everything vaguely uncanny "creepy." Clowns are creepy, fog is creepy, brightly-it empty rooms are creepy, dimly-lit empty rooms are creepy, animated shorts are creepy, underwater noises are creepy, Centralia PA is creepy, wikipedia is creepy, Calvin Klein underpants are creepy, fucking production company logos are creepy, and so on and on and on.

It's a wonder anyone can get out from under the covers in the morning, the world is so gosh darn creepy these days.

Isn't there another word for the sensation of "creepy" that neither turns one into a three year-old or forces them to strut their hipster semiotics and reel off the tired old "uncanny valley" line for the ten billionth time?

Still, great art.
posted by sonascope at 7:13 AM on May 21, 2010

DecemberBoy: "The extra "c" is for "cPretentious"."

You know this post is about an artist, right? Art is professional pretense.

sonascope: "Isn't there another word for the sensation of "creepy" that neither turns one into a three year-old or forces them to strut their hipster semiotics and reel off the tired old "uncanny valley" line for the ten billionth time?"

The uncanny valley is a specific phenomenon that has nothing to do with this art. It is a science fiction nerd cliché, not a hipster one. The word "uncanny" by itself works just fine and describes this art; it isn't an obscure word by any means.
posted by idiopath at 8:43 AM on May 21, 2010

From one of the articles: now three years later, I have approximately 200 individuals who regularly send me envelopes full of pigeon feathers.

The act of regularily sending someone feathers just because they asked you seems as incredible as the art she makes with those feathers. I really like people some times.
posted by tuck_nroll at 12:40 PM on May 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

My studio is on a Dutch barge moored on a semi-derelict island in the river Thames.

This woman and her deliciously bent art are all kinds of amazing.
posted by Devika at 4:46 PM on May 21, 2010

The extra "c" is for "cPretentious".

Not all MccGwires are artists. Maybe it's just her name?

Fantastic stuff, thanks emilyd22222.
posted by ceiriog at 7:56 AM on May 22, 2010 [1 favorite]

unreal. really cool. thank you
posted by lakersfan1222 at 4:17 PM on May 23, 2010

It's just something about the way they're organic-seeming but have no heads. Headless things that writhe around freak me right the heck out. Especially that one where the feathers look like they're flowing out of the spigot in the wall; that's clipped right from a nightmare of mine somewhere along the way.

Reptiles and snakes I love. I had a pet snake for many years. He rode around in my hair.

It's not that these are bad or ugly, but every time I look at them I just come over all horripilated.
posted by Scattercat at 2:24 PM on May 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Somehow, I forgot that this word exists. It's excellent. Thanks for reminding me!
posted by rtha at 2:39 PM on May 25, 2010

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