Kate MccGwire’s work exists in a twilight zone where beauty butts up against ugliness,
rapture meets disgust and reason superstition. She will take an everyday material or
object – a chicken wishbone, pigeon feather or book – and, by re-framing it, generate ‘a
field of attraction’ around it. The viewer is left reeling, simultaneously seduced and
alienated, relishing the spectacle but at the same time aware of something disquieting,
something ‘other’. Her instinctively aesthetic approach – pared-down, spare and sensual –
ultimately proves treacherous; the bone invokes the chill of death and stench of the killing
fields, the feathers a gag-like response at their parasitic growth, while the inverted flower
scarring the book’s pages denies all possibility of human progress through knowledge.

The shift from a world in which objects sit in their ‘natural’ place allows us a new
perspective, exposing us to the macabre truths that lurk behind the familiar and the
nightmarish reality of what it is to be human – a brutal consciousness of the ugly and the
funereal, of fear and disgust.
2004 MA Sculpture, Royal College of Art
2001 BA (Hons) Fine Art, University College for the Creative Arts, Farnham


‘Dunkelheit’, Flora Fairbairn Projects, curated by Annabelle Moreau
St Pancras Crypt, London
‘Through the Looking Glass’, curated by ARTed
Building 1000, Royal Albert Docks, London

‘All at Sea’ (solo show), Platts Eyot Island, London                 
‘This & That’ (two-person show with Susan Stockwell)
Shenghua Art Centre, Nanjing, China (residency)

‘Peculiar Encounters’, curated by Sarah Dwyer and Laura Green -
ecArtspace, London                                                        
‘Siege’, curated by Angela Huntbach - Sidney Street, London        
‘Parterre’ (solo show) - Atrium Gallery, London
MA & Postgraduate Contemporary Art Exhibition - Atkinson Gallery,  
‘Issue’ (solo show) - M2 Gallery, London

‘Galleon and Other Stories’ - Saatchi Gallery, London
Degree Show  - Royal College of Art, London
‘Time Share’ - Trinity Buoy Wharf, London

‘Time Share’ - Barge House, South Bank, London

Hunting Art Prize - Royal College of Art, London

‘Select’- Hockey Gallery, Farnham

Hunting Art Prize - Royal College of Art, London


Saatchi Collection
Shenghua Art Centre, Nanjing, China
University College for the Creative Arts
Various private collections in UK, Middle East and USA