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.