​Cathy McClure

As a multi-media artist with a strong background in metal design, I am seduced by its limitless potential.  My enthusiasm for the techniques and traditions of the field is rivaled only by a wild preoccupation with engineering, technology and the discrepancy between the public's perception of an imagined techno-future and that future that we now inhabit.  Using plush and tin toys as metaphors and multimedia components such as music, motors and strobes, I create kinetic sculptures, installations and videos which highlight a societal penchant for over-consumption and over-production.

My latest body of work involves deconstruction and reinvention.  Hands wielding scissors, I massacre discarded motor-driven robotic plush toys, eviscerating them through a Geppetto-like taxidermy until I get down into the guts of the piece.  Skinning my Bots to the bone, all that remains are their various articulated plastic limbs and bodily armature, which contains the preserved mechanisms that gave these once-cuddly Elmos and elephants, Mickeys and roosters their life-like movement and sound.  Disassembling the carcasses and re-casting the limbs and armatures in metal, I then engage in a Frankensteinian re-assembly of the new parts.  The resulting Bot reincarnations through metamorphosis have aged, even wizened.  Their now-hollow voices and awkward, geriatric movements remove them from the toy chest where they were raised and catapult them into the adult environments of salon, library, museum. 

My Bots have recently expanded into installation presentations.  In an enigmatic series of animatronic unstuffed Mickey skeletons. I rewire and connect groups together that are then activated by a single control button.  Beginning in synchronous motion, the drama unfolds and the functional forms of these stuffed animal innards quickly falter.  Dissent spreads as they whirr, click and ratchet further and further out of sync.  Each scene is unique.  Disturbing and humorous both. 

Throughout my career curiosity and a fascination with how things work has compelled me to create art that lies outside existing fields of definition and to ignore the boundaries those definitions impose.  I approach my work with persistence and without constraints, which helps me expand the realm of possibilities while simultaneously feeding my need for discovery.