kate mccgwire layers feather sculptures at st mary in the castle
 
kate mccgwire layers feather sculptures at st mary in the castle kate mccgwire layers feather sculptures at st mary in the castle
sep 13, 2014

kate mccgwire layers feather sculptures at st mary in the castle

kate mccgwire layers feather sculptures at st mary in the castle
‘purge’
mixed media with pigeon feathers
98 x 98 x 150cm
photo by JP bland

 

 

 

situated within the crypt at st mary in the castle in hastings, british sculptor kate mccgwire has set two site specific sculptures ‘purge’ and ‘secrete’ within the unique subterranean environment. presented for the 2014 coastal currents festival of visual arts until september 14th, the works characterize vast and intricately overlapped layers of feathers, creating undulating and organic forms in response to the unusual shapes of the recessed crypt. mccgwire describes the influence drawn from the venue, saying that the sinuous sculptural forms have been ‘initially inspired by the the steady flow of natural spring water that seeps into the building of mary in the castle, and used to be the water source for the fully immersive baptismal tanks within the building.’

kate mccgwire layers feather sculptures at st mary in the castle
‘purge’ detail
photo by JP bland

 

 

 

to create her sculptures, mccgwire painstakingly collects, cleans and sorts tens of thousands of feathers, and repurposes them into bulging and flowing compositions, extruding from basins and tanks. the installations appear animated yet still, capturing the movement of water flow while simultaneously solidifying an element found in nature that once took flight.

kate mccgwire layers feather sculptures at st mary in the castle
‘secrete’
mixed media with magpie feathers
dimensions variable
photo by alexander brattell

kate mccgwire layers feather sculptures at st mary in the castle
‘secrete’ detail
photo by alexander brattell

 

 

the pigeon feathers in this installation are responsibly sourced from a network of pigeonracing enthusiasts who send kate their birds’ naturally discarded feathers. the birds moult twice a year so the feathers are a by-product of this cyclic process. the magpie feathers are provided by gamekeepers; who control the population of these predatory birds in order to maintain the ecosystem (which in turn helps to protect the UK’s songbird population).

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