Born in Glasgow in 1961, Calum Colvin was a winner of one of the first SAC Creative Scotland Awards and is a holder of a Royal Photographic Society Gold Medal . He was awarded an OBE in 2001 and is Professor of Fine Art Photography at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, University of Dundee. Colvin’s artworks are internationally renowned and widely exhibited.
A practitioner of painting, sculpture and photography, Colvin brings these disciplines together, utilizing the unique fixed-point perspective of the camera, in his unique style of ‘constructed photography’: assembled tableaux of objects, which are then painted and photographed.
These elaborately constructed scenarios present a complex narrative tableau, rich in association and spatial ambiguities, which are exhibited as large-scale photographic prints.
This process involves the creation of a three-dimensional stage set of an ordinary domestic scenario, upon which he paints across the various diverse elements within the set to make a unified image, viewed via a large format camera, which is realized through the process of photography. Colvin is interested in the process of transformation that occurs when everyday objects are juxtaposed with appropriated painted images. In this process the viewer is engaged in a kind of visual dialogue where layers of meaning are gradually discerned and themes of politics, sexuality and belief are encountered in a dark and humorous manner.
These complex narratives have the quality of being both open and closed. They are closed in that they clearly refer to given icons and archetypes of Western culture, but open in that they accommodate any number of potential readings. Calum Colvin