First career retrospective for Royal Academy Sculpture Winner Kate MccGwire

Dichotomy: 20 October 2018 – 2 January 2019, The Harley Gallery

Winner of the Royal Academy of Arts’ Sculpture Award at the 2018 Summer Exhibition, Kate MccGwire will cap a memorable year with the opening of her first ever career retrospective at The Harley Gallery on the Welbeck Estate in Sherwood Forest, near Nottingham.

Opening on 20 October, the show will display more than 40 works with pieces dating back to her degree show – a graduation piece was bought by the collector Charles Saatchi in 2002 and he has been a supporter ever since. MccGwire is also creating new work to display at the exhibition.

Often using feathers and other animal parts to create hybrid creatures taking their inspiration by Greek and Roman mythology, her work references the natural world that surrounded her as she grew up on the Norfolk broads.

Kate MccGwire: “The reed beds and the water were full of life sometimes only partially glimpsed but which have informed my work ever since. This retrospective is very important to me. Bringing my work together has enabled me to see how it has developed and the recurring themes that have been in my imagination since childhood.”

“I am interested in how we are drawn to things but repelled by them at the same time – the familiar, when seen out of place that defies reason. My forms are bodily & linked with ourselves, but made alien by the materials I use.”

Using natural materials to explore the play of opposites at an aesthetic and visceral level, Kate MccGwire’s works are familiar yet otherworldly, beautiful and disgusting, tranquil and malicious.

Since graduating from the Royal College of Art in 2004 her uncanny sculptures have been exhibited at the Saatchi Gallery (London), the Museum of Art and Design (New York), Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature (Paris) and recently at Glasstress, an official collateral event of the Venice Biennale.