Blog & News

Lorna Macmillan at Town Hall Galleries



On view: 20 June – 1 August 2009

10am – 5pm, Tuesday to Saturday
admission free

Lorna Macmillan, winner of the Ip-art Award for Visual Art 2008, has been developing an ambitious project, Step by Step, for display at Ipswich Borough Council’s Town Hall Galleries this summer.

Macmillan has conducted a dynamic social experiment with the aim of challenging our ability as inquisitive beings to absorb sets of instructions, which has resulted in the making of a central film piece.

The work originates from her fascination with the human condition. It presents itself as an analysis of how complex sets of directives impact on individual modern lifestyles. The process was implemented through providing all the willing participants with ‘Animal How To Packs’. These guides included detailed step by step instructions concerned with both the practical elements of the project such as time and location of filming and the more artistic aspects associated with the performance.

Animal personas were chosen for the subjects to adopt as they have distinct behavioural characteristics. The costume selection and design were developed with the intention of remaining subtle. The aim was for the actors’ interpretations to shine through on screen, avoiding any distractions caused by dominant pieces of attire.

The location of the ‘familiar park scene’ was chosen as a canvas to display the natural theatre of nature. Not only is it a setting coupled with the animal selection it also provides the piece with a highly important visual aesthetic.

In order for the process to be both insightful and dramatic the artist was present at filming but it was essential for her to remain anonymous. This allowed the instructional element to remain uncompromised and play a dominant role within the final piece.

Although ultimately the work is a social experiment between the artist, actors and ultimately the viewer the aim was to produce work that is visually aesthetic and fulfilling. Lorna Macmillan hopes the final piece provides the viewer with tranquil surroundings and the opportunity to escape into hibernation.


1 Abram | on 25 June 2009

I found this a bit difficult, I like the fact it is so ambitous but it didnt really spark any reaction in me…

2 joel | on 30 June 2009

I found it quite heart warming and loved the simplicity of the idea.
whilst watching the film it made me smile, and i think that triggering some sort of emotion how ever small when making a peice like this is key.

The pigeons and the rabbit was ace, but i think the dog was enjoying his self far to much smile

Leave a Comment:

You must be a member to leave a comment. Login or Sign Up

Issue 32 Cover

Issue 32

Download your copy of IP1 now!

More Issues