Kate MccGwire

Kate MccGwire, Dr. Catriona McAra, Jane Neal

A major monograph on one of the most accomplished British sculptors of her generation, this publication presents a survey of twenty years of Kate MccGwire's otherworldly sculptures and fantastical installations, exploring the grotesque, the uncanny, and the surreal. Edited by Mark Sanders, with texts by Jane Neal and Dr. Catriona McAra.
Date Published :
May 2021
Publisher :
Anomie Publishing
Editor :
Mark Sanders
Contributor(s) :
Peter Willberg
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding : Hardback
ISBN : 9781910221259
Pages : 200
Dimensions : 12.2 X 9.4 inches
Stock Status : Out of stock. Available in 6-8 weeks


Kate MccGwire is an internationally renowned British sculptor whose practice probes the beauty of the uncanny. In creating arresting, sensuous, otherworldly sculptures, she explores ideas relating to Sigmund Freud’s notion of the “unheimliche” or “unhomely”, rendering the familiar strange and disturbing, often triggering a visceral response in the viewer.

Growing up on the Norfolk Broads in England, MccGwire was fascinated by birds and the natural world from an early age, with avian subjects becoming a recurring theme in her artwork. Employing natural materials and in particular, feathers, MccGwire creates freestanding sculptures and site-specific works, her forms evolving intuitively and subconsciously based on subtle patterns or details within her chosen materials.

This major monograph features works spanning her career, from the unsettling fabric and clothing works of the turn of the millennium through to the fantastical site-specific installation and interventions of her solo exhibition in 2020 at Harewood House, Leeds. In the first essay commissioned for the publication, independent curator and writer Jane Neal explores themes of childhood and family, nature and the body, physics and metaphysics, opening up connections between MccGwire’s works and myths, legends, and belief systems across time and cultures. The second essay, by Dr Catriona McAra, an art historian and Curator at Leeds Arts University, explores MccGwire’s oeuvre in relation to the history of soft sculpture, abstraction, and surrealism, especially with regard to feminist histories and to notions of counter-modernism. She asserts: ‘The grotesque and the uncanny have sustained a significant hold over MccGwire’s creative imagination, with interlocking thought-forms and otherworldly beings dominating her oeuvre.’

Lavishly illustrated with around 140 images, the publication has been edited by independent curator and writer Mark Sanders and designed and produced by Peter B. Willberg. It is published by Anomie Publishing, London.

Kate MccGwire (b.1964, Norfolk, UK), undertook a BA in Fine Art at University College for the Creative Arts, Farnham, before completing an MA in Sculpture at the Royal College of Art, London. Solo exhibitions include ‘Menagerie’, Harewood House, Leeds (2020); ‘Dichotomy’, The Harley Gallery, Welbeck, UK (2018); ‘Sasse/Sluice’, Aldeburgh Festival, UK (2018); ‘Secrete’, Galerie Huit, Hong Kong (2016); ‘Scissure’, La Galerie Particulière, Paris (2016); and ‘Covert’, Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature, Paris (2014). She has featured in group exhibitions at venues including the Fondazione Berengo, Murano, Italy; Gewerbemuseum Winterthur, Switzerland; Guerlain House, Paris; Centre of Contemporary Art, Toruń, Poland; Anton Ulrich Museum, Braunschweig, Germany; the Museum of Arts & Design, New York; and the Contemporary Art Society, London. In 2018 she was the winner of The Royal Academy of Arts, Jack Goldhill Award for Sculpture.

About The Author

Kate MccGwire is an internationally renowned British sculptor whose practice probes the beauty of the uncanny. Since graduating from the Royal College of Art in 2004, her sculptures have been exhibited throughout Europe, Asia, and the USA. In 2018, MccGwire was awarded the Jack Goldhill Award for Sculpture by the Royal Academy of Arts in London.

Mark Sanders is an independent curator, writer, and art consultant based in London. In the 1990s he was the acting Arts Editor for Dazed & Confused and Commissioning Editor for Contemporary Culture for Phaidon Press. He has also edited a number of publications for Booth-Clibborn Editions, Hatje Cantz, and Anomie Publishing.

Dr. Catriona McAra is University Curator at Leeds Arts University. She has published extensively with a particular interest in surrealism and feminist-surrealist legacies in contemporary practice. She is co-editor with Jonathan P. Eburne of "Leonora Carrington and the International Avant-Garde" (Manchester University Press, 2017).

Jane Neal is an independent curator, writer, and art consultant based in the UK with a speciality in contemporary painting practice. Recent shows include Introducing 21st Century Women (Unit Gallery, London 2018), Disruptive Imagination (Ferenczy Museum Center, Szentendre, Hungary, 2017) and A Question of Perspective (Grimm Gallery, Amsterdam 2016).

Peter Willberg is a designer based in London, UK.

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