Macintyre's practice combines photography and sculpture, drawing both on simple and formal processes and on the heady language of nineteenth-century Symbolism.
Lorna Macintyre (born Glasgow, 1977, lives in Glasgow) creates sculptural and photographic installations, marrying discrete objects into tableau replete with personal and mythological associations. Using a diverse range of materials - such as wood, copper, mirror and string - her studied compositions are always more than the sum of their parts, while also retaining the air of vulnerability inherent to assemblage.
Works often appear fragile, poised and - due to an incongruous combination of components - highly surreal. Aeolian Sculpture (2007) is one such fantastical sculptural object. A dried-out hunk of driftwood appears lifted from the floor by a row of guitar strings. This weathered assemblage invokes notions of music, as well as the idea of time as a process in which things are both created and destroyed.
Such combinations of the organic and man-made are characteristic of Macintyre's work, and so too is the use of literary sources. As part of her ongoing exploration of literary figures, titles and tropes, the artist titled one recent installation Hekate (2008), invoking the Greek goddess associated with thresholds and boundaries. The installation is a display of slippery doubles and ciphers - Macintyre's photographs and sculptural objects are characterised by reflection, duplication or mimicry. One of the installation's components, Serpent, is a rusted piece of piping that appears to crawl from underneath a mirror, rearing up to meet its own reflection. Its real and mirror image appear like a Rorschach test, tipping the mundane into the surreal.
Macintyre often seeks to give concrete form to literary images, and in her earlier works the artist can be found invoking an original text within the title of a work. Surprise is the greatest new spring (2008) and Sign of Four (2007), for instance, relate to works by Apollinaire and Conan Doyle respectively, while the sculptural installation Say All the Poets (2006) quotes Fernando Pessoa's poem The Keeper of Sheep. The latter work comprises a stepped wooden pyramid, its shelves displaying small objects whose configuration mirrors the elegant structure of Pessoa's original poem. This mode of display - the shelf as plinth - is a recurring feature throughout the artist's work, which foregrounds the act of display, while also demanding an intimate engagement.
For her Nought to Sixty exhibition Macintyre presents a new installation that draws on the genre of still life, reflecting on her ongoing fascination with a number of artists who have explored this genre in unexpected ways. Expanding on recent researches into the photographs of Paul Nash, and the paintings of Juan Sanchez-Cotan and De Chirico, Macintyre's installation employs a diverse range of objects and exploits the gap between the quotidian and the fantastical.