Cathy McClure Bio
As a multi-media artist with a strong background in metal design, I am seduced by the limitless potential of sterling silver, bronze, and steel. My enthusiasm for the techniques and traditions of metalwork is rivaled only by a wild preoccupation with mechanical toys and the discrepancy between the public’s perception of an imagined techno-future and that future that we now inhabit.
My zoetropic works consist of a cast of solid inflexible characters engaged in repetitive motions, which conjure dreamy cinematic operations and allude to a modern life characterized by escapism, frenzy, and consumption. With these installations I intend to mesmerize and enchant the viewer through optical illusion and sound; possessed silhouettes in flickering shadow figure prominently throughout my kinetic compositions while juxtaposing merriment and exhilaration with apprehension and bewilderment. This carnivalesque world illuminates social disparities – studies in deviance and spectacle that reflect the conflicting dynamics of attraction and repulsion.
The juxtaposition of humor and charm with iconic memory and craftsmanship lures viewers into a playful state where magic is encouraged to linger. Using plush and tin toys as metaphors, I create installations and videos highlighting the societal penchant for over-consumption and over-production. I deconstruct grossly abundant supplies of forgotten toys to reveal not only the function of minute inner mechanisms, but also the unseen beauty of design and alternate personas.
Driven by a fascination with the fleeting value placed on low-priced multiple objects farmed out of factories in record numbers, I take unstuffed, discarded, mechanical rejects and introduce new identities. The underlying plastic object embodies more potential for my imagination than the stuffed object layered with intricate marketing identities. It is these unstuffed plastic oddities that I reinvent in precious metals. This contrast between the discarded forgotten object and the cherished one underscores societal contradictions and reintroduces us to the magical quality of flipping frogs, drumming monkeys, and slowly turning carousels.