Kate MccGwire Evacuate photo: Jonty Wilde
Kate MccGwire’s Evacuate worked with the historicism of the Mansion, focussing on the ‘behind the scenes’ world of the kitchens. Thousands of locally sourced bird feathers, each taken from a species regularly cooked in the house ovens, were reassembled to create a new, uncanny ‘creature’. Horrifyingly beautiful, the work suggested a new (or perhaps ancient) and menacing presence emanating from the cast iron oven. Coiling, pluming and creeping through the kitchen, the work felt weighty, meaty. The visitor was at once taken by the gorgeousness of the work itself – the assemblage of ‘common’ feathers presented as something completely exotic – and the shame involved in discarding objects of beauty in favour of a perfunctory dinner.
Kate MccGwire received an MA from the Royal College of Art. Her degree show installation ‘Brood’ was purchased and installed within Galleon and Other Stories at the Saatchi Gallery in 2004. In 2006 she was invited to China for a residency in Nanjing and in 2008 to a residency at Art Omi, New York. In 2008 she showed at Gothic, Fieldgate Gallery; This is not a Fairy Tale, Patrick Heide; Soot from the Funnel, Lokaal01, Holland and was the winner of the Heart of Glass competition. In 2009 she exhibited with the Contemporary Art Society, Gothic, The Animal Gaze, The New London School Berlin, Tunnel 228 with Punch Drunk and The Age of the Marvellous with All Visual Arts. She will be making a large-scale installation for Dead or Alive at the Museum of Art and Design, New York in April 2010.