All Visual Arts, 2013
Foreword by Judith Collins
'In contrast to her site-specific sculptures, which respond to the display conditions they are given, MccGwire in 2008 began a series of smaller feather sculptures encased in antique vitrines. This allows her to interrogate museum and gallery display methods, since vitrines are the normal mode of presentation for scientific and natural history museum collections. Vex (2008) was the first of these, made with pigeon feathers. A contorted, feathered form is set in a museum-like glass and wood cabinet that seems slightly too small for it. The viewer approaches with a sense of anxiety, as though stepping too close will cause the apparently headless creature to rear up and break free of its bondage. Something ancient and extinct seems to have the power to come alive.'
- Judith Collins, Kate MccGwire: Lure of the natural world