Calum Colvin DA MA(RCA) RSA OBE
Course Director, Art Philosophy & Contemporary Practices University of Dundee
Calum was commissioned by the Scottish National Portrait gallery to pain the composer, James MacMillan. He decided the best method was to first visit the composer home to get a background of how he lived and how he worked.
He then adopted a most unusual method. He built a set in an Edinburgh studio which included references to the composers work and character. In this portrait one can see MacMillan’s first full length opera, which he was in the middle of composing at the time of the portrait being painted. The opera was Indes De Castro. The artist included manuscripts of the opening and closing bars of the piece and references to his Roman Catholic faith.
It also featured his football club Glasgow Celtic. Here we see culture class and character woven into all aspects of the painting .
Question to James mac Millan:
What work of art would you like to own?
Salvador Dalí’s Christ of St John of the Cross. I’m ambivalent about Dalí,
My high point?
Writing a piece for Celtic FC: my heart filled with pride
A practitioner of painting, sculpture and photography, Calum Colvin brings these disciplines together, utilizing the fixed-point perspective of the camera, towards 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 and photographed via a large format camera.
Colvins interest in transformation with daily objects with carefully selected imagery combing the two adds a visual dialogue giving the subject extra dimensions and dissipates the focal point. He reflects contemporary culture and a unique perspective giving the audience a new role of perspective.
His work is held in numerous prestigious collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Museum of Fine Art, Houston; The Victoria and Albert Museum, London as well as the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh and the Tate Gallery.