Kate MccGwire

FLAIL (Photo: Jean Paul Bland)

Kate MccGwire

New Commission for Coastal Currents Festival

Saturday 30 August – Sunday 14 September, 10am – 6pm

The Basement, St Mary in the Castle, Hastings,
Pelham Place, Hastings TN34 3AF


Internationally acclaimed artist Kate MccGwire has been commissioned by Coastal Currents to create a site specific work in the unique environment of the crypt at St Mary in the Castle.

Vast layers of feathers will create an undulating, organic, otherworldly form in response to the unusual shapes of the recessed crypt. SLICK-(6)-PAG
SLICK (Photo: Tessa Angus)


MccGwire’s work often explores themes such as Freud’s Unheimliche, the uncanny or unhomely and otherness by using the language of nature to create unnatural forms.

Ephemeral materials such as her feathers, including pigeon, mallard or magpie, are used in complex and intricate ways, to make beautiful but sometimes uncomfortable constructions; challenging our perceptions of the familiarity of feathers with birds in flight.

vex-small     SLUICE-(9)
VEX (Photo: John Paul Bland)                                                        SLUICE (Photo: Francis Ware)

MccGwire creates complicated and sophisticated forms which provide an alternative take on an original approach to natural history, describing them herself as “binary concepts of darkness and beauty, sensuous and sensual”.

For MccGwire, feathers are a familiar object which she transforms into disconcerting yet alluring configurations, probing the beauty inherent in duality and exploring the play of opposites. Unsettling, surreal and immersive, her work is loaded with symbolic meaning.

CACHE (Photo: Tessa Angus)

Throughout the festival, MccGwire will also be showing smaller ephemeral works within the window space of Butlers Emporium, a beautiful unspoiled building in the heart of the Old Town, dating from around 1832.

Open throughout the festival, 11am – 5pm

Butlers Emporium, 70 George Street, Hastings, TN34 3EE


Recent, current and forthcoming exhibitions:
MoMU, Antwerp; All Visual Arts, London; The Beany House, Canterbury; Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery, Felbrigg Hall, National Trust; Museum Kunstpalast, Dusseldorf; Musee de la Chasse et de la Nature, Paris; Le Royal Monceau, Paris; International Craft Biennial, South Korea; Gaasbeek Castle, Belguim; Newark Park, National Trust; The Reyden Weiss Collection, Oberstdorf; Humoldt, Krokodil & Polke, Berlin; Museum National d’ Histoire Naturelle, Paris.


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