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These may look like snakes, but they’re really sculptures made of feathers

British artist Kate MccGwire makes unbelievable sculptures that, at first glance, may look like snakes coiled up in balls. But look closer and you’ll see that they’re merely carefully-arranged feathers.

MccGwire is known for taking fallen bird feathers and using the exotic material to create surreal sculptures. Her most recent work imagines the organic medium as scales. The result of which is a collection of snake-like forms seemingly slithering inside cabinets, bell jars, and frames.

Delighted that Skein (2012) is included in DOING IDENTITY at Kunstmuseum Bochum, Germany opening today until the 4th February 2018 – the phenomenal collection of Reydon Weiss. A great roll call of artists including some of my all-time favourites Cindy Sherman, Anselm Kiefer, Tony Cragg, Shirin Neshat, Rebecca Horn, Chantal Joffe, Joseph Beuys, @matcollishaw @wolfevonlenkiewicz @caroleinsmit @alastair.mackie and many others Photo Ian Stuart. SKEIN (2012) Mixed media with Mallard feathers in antique dome @doing_identity

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If you happen to be in Paris for FIAC and have a spare moment … I have a few pieces at the gorgeous @rwcrillon hotel – ‘Conundrum’ 2017 Mixed media with rooster feathers and Tussle 2016 Mixed media with pheasant feathers #HotelCrillon #sculpture #paris #katemccgwire

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According to the artist, she started using bird feathers after noticing all the feathers dropped from a pigeon colony near her rural art studio.

Ever since, she has been sourcing plumage with iridescent patterns from local farms, pigeon racers, and gamekeepers. Some of the bird species MccGwire regularly works with include crows, magpies, pheasants, and roosters.

‘GAG’ (2009) my first crow feather sculpture which still remains a favourite Shown in The Age of the Marvellous with All Visual Arts curated by @joelaplaca and @marksandersartconsultancy the Heart of Glass curated by @florafairbairn – now in a Private Collection Mixed media with Crow feathers in Japanned antique cabinet. Photos :JP Bland @jpbland & @tessaangus Archive project – Showing work made during the past 17 years since graduation from @royalcollegeofart

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‘CLEAVE’ (2012). Mixed media with dove feathers in antique cabinet – Private Collection Photo: @tessaangus and @jpbland Exhibited in LURE solo show at All Visual Arts, London, Winchester Discovery Centre, The Beaney, Canterbury. Cheongdu Arts Biennial, S Korea, @canterburymuseums. Archive project – Showing work made during the past 17 years since graduation from @royalcollegeofart

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When asked to describe her work, MccGwire told Artnews: “I’m thinking of it as being like an umbilical cord. I want to seduce by what I do—but revolt in equal measure. It’s really important to me that you’ve got that rejection of things you think you know for sure.”

You can see more of Kate MccGwire’s work on Instagram.

WRITHE (2010) . Mixed media with Mallard speculum feathers in antique dome :Photo @tessaangus Lighting @fineartlighting – exhibited with @florafairbairn in Concrete and Glass, Hoxton Square, London Private Collection . Archive project – Showing work made during the past 17 years since graduation from @royalcollegeofart

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‘VEX’ (2008) mixed media with Pigeon feathers in antique cabinet- my first cabinet enclosed feather sculpture.. still remains one of my all time favourites- shown at Heart of Glass exhibition at Shoreditch Town Hall, London. Curated by @florafairbairn @rowena_chiu this piece has been exhibited in over 10 venues around the uk and Europe including the Musee National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris, @momuantwerp, Attingham Park,National Trust. Tunnel 228 for the fabulous @punchdrunkuk It now on long term exhibition at the beautiful @musee_chasse_nature courtesy of the Tia Collection Archive project – Day 16 of Showing work made during the past 17 years since graduation from @royalcollegeofart photos : F Ware

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Wishing you all a wonderful 2018 and thanks for all the fab support over the last 12 months – My year…. rather telling, too much work and little play… New Year’s resolution….. #best9of2017

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Via This is Colossal

About the author

Inigo is a writer and graphic designer from Manila, Philippines. He is a soldier of love who will carry you on his strong back of awesomeness when the zombie apocalypse arrives.

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