But don’t let MccGwire’s animal-originated materials ruffle your own feathers. All of her feathers are received from a network of pigeon racers and farmers who mail her the feathers they’ve collected when their birds begin molting in the Spring. Otherwise bound for the yard dumpster, MccGwire’s artwork gives these feathers a new medium to fly to new heights.
To create all her sculptures, MccGwire collects, cleans and sorts what she’s received and carefully plans the arrangement of feathers. Each of her works reference the site they are installed, and the artist consciously tries to connect specific avifauna with the existing and historic context. For example, as told to Treehugger, for her 2010 piece Evacuate (seen above), she selected the feathers of birds that would have been cooked in the oven of the historic home over the 300 years it has been in existence.
To see more examples of Kate MccGwire’s work, click through out gallery above or see a complete collection of her feather sculptures here.