b. 1964, Norwich
lives and works in London
MccGwire is known for her muscular, writhing forms made with feathers, and reminiscent of Classical sculpture and mythological creatures. Her works explore dualities of aesthetics, being simultaneously seductive and repulsive; form, being both organic and abstract; and movement, appearing fluid yet static. As she has noted: ‘I am interested in the interplay of opposites which runs like a leitmotif through everything I do. It is as if the work needs that tension to create its own internal equilibrium; it is an expression for me of the duality I see all around me and the materials I choose need to be able to physically embody this’.
– Caress/Coerce, 2021 | mixed media with goose feathers in a custom cabinet
– Quandary, 2019 | mixed media with pheasant feathers in a custom cabinet
Location: Festival House
“I am interested in the interplay of opposites. That runs like a thread through everything I do. It’s as if the work needs that tension to find its own internal balance. For me, it’s an expression of the duality I see all around me. The materials I select have to be able to physically express that as well.” Her creative process begins with collecting and preparing the feathers. She does this in a repetitive manner, carefully examining and arranging each feather based on size, shape and natural color. She then arranges the feathers, in a meditative manner, to mimic the overall shape and patterns of the pieces. She draws inspiration from the anatomy of birds’ wings.