My current practice reflects the training I received at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, where I studied Sculpture (1979-83) and the Royal College of Art where I studied Photography (1983-85). I bring these disciplines together through 'constructed photography’: assembled tableaux of objects, which are then painted and photographed. My research interests are concerned with practices around the boundaries of Painting, Photography, Sculpture and Electronic Imaging. I have been referencing images, primarily from the History of Painting, to explore ideas concerned with national identity, sexuality and various aspects of contemporary culture. These images are combined in the processes of construction, painting and photography in order to create a multi-referential artwork. Much of this work has been concerned with the very process of looking, perceiving and interpreting-the potential meaning of any individual piece being intrinsically linked to the viewer’s personal deconstruction of the image. In this respect I have made a point of utilising the unique fixed-point perspective of the camera to collect the manipulated and constructed image in order to create elaborate narratives. These 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. These readings, in turn, reflect the contemporary cultural climate and the unique authorial role of the viewer.
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, University of Dundee.
Colvin’s artworks are internationally renowned and widely exhibited. His work is held in numerous collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Art Institute of Chicago; The Victoria and Albert Museum, London and the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh where he lives and works.