Kate MccGwire Presents LURE at the All Visual Arts Centre, London.

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The All Visual Arts Centre in London is currently presenting Kate MccGwire’s LURE, a solo exhibition of feather-themed artefacts. Sculptor Kate works by a continual process of collection and construction, intertwining so intricately slick plumages which are almost oily to the eye. Her painstaking effort is palpable in the visceral feelings evoked by each exotic specimen.

These twisted and contorted shapes gives us a new angle in which to view birds – from those in captivity to those flying free. From rarities to common everyday pigeons. It seems there’s no end to the form feathers can take. What strikes a curious chord is that we are not allowed to see the birds’ heads, only feathers. Are the birds hiding their hearts and souls? Not wanting to partake in the cruel twisted world holding them captive? The names of some pieces might answer that – ‘Beguile’, ‘Narcis’, ‘Taunt’, ‘Stigma’, ‘Coerce’. One can only conclude that these birds are not happy to be displayed to us.

Whatever the intention, the overriding impact from this exhibition is one of uncertainty, as all but two pieces are presented in dark form. ‘Cleave’ and ‘Beguile’ are crafted from white pigeon, crow and dove feathers, and their presence tends towards beauty and light. Reformation. ‘Cleave’ depicts the heart or hips (depending on which way you look at it), but this womanly life giving form is uncannily held up by the knees, not legs, suggesting a cut off point, that life is not able to flow.

LURE exhibits range in size from 18cm square to 1.5 metres in length. The centrepiece ‘Gyre’ dominates at almost 10 metres long! ‘Gyre’ is a twisted, entwined offering formed from crow feathers and tells the story of said birds as historically evil creatures and omens of bad luck (we all remember images of crows gathering around graveyards). Other feathered figments in this exhibition come from jays, and magpies. Mountings include antique glass domes and board.

Kate MccGwire’s LURE exhibition runs until 26th January 2013 at the All Visual Arts Centre, Kings Cross, 2 Omega Place, London N1 9DR

See http://www.allvisualarts.org/ for more information.

* Image for this piece is reproduced from http://www.katemccgwire.com/.

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