Art

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.

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.

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.