I’m currently on a camping trip with my boyfriend in Wales, travelling from the Brecon Beacons to Pembrokeshire and then up to Snowdonia. Yesterday we hiked the Black Mounain for 10 hours in the rain and now everything I own is wet and the majority of my body hurts. I can’t even describe how my feet looked after taking my water-and-mud-filled walking boots off. The colour was indescribable.
Despite the minor hellish-ness, it is utterly beautiful here, and the bird life is amazing, which got me thinking about one of my favourite artists Kate MccGwire who creates her sculptures with thousands of collected bird feathers.
MccGwire lives on Dutch barge moored on an island on the Thames, which is where she first had the idea of working with feathers.
‘I started to collect, arrange and layer the feathers and I quickly realised that to make anything out of them, I would need thousands’
MccGwire started to contact game keepers and pigeon fanciers all over the country, asking for feather donations. Once received they are washed and meticulously organised into colour coded boxes.
‘You have to be organised to work on a boat’, ‘or you would be in a sea of pigeon’
MccGwire is quite vague about her process after this point, not wanting to ruin the mystery behind the works.
The end result of her collecting and organising is more serpent like than birdlike. The plumes are transformed into undulating waves that spill from crevices in walls of abandoned buildings, and her cabinet works are scaley organic creatures, mesmerising and ominous behind glass.
Head to her website to see more.