Kate MccGwire’s work asks questions about the very nature of beauty. She’s intrigued by the possibility of envisaging beauty as something more complex than merely what delights the senses: beauty can be about a problem; it can be something that repels you or makes you question the status quo. The idea that it is a cultural phenomenon, susceptible to argument through the creative process, fascinates her.
Intrinsic to her method is the collecting and sorting of materials from hundreds of different sources over a period of months, even years. In turn, pieces evolve intuitively as if out of the subconscious, the language evocative rather than purely illustrative. As the work takes shape, a new, playful reality emerges, so that the object itself becomes a sort of prism, refracting the layers of meaning and cultural associations buried within, the quantity of materials used sometimes deliberately overwhelming, as if charged with a power and ambition beyond the reach they possess when seen in isolation.