Calum Colvin began working with Edinburgh Printmakers in 2001, using the newly developed technique of photopolymer gravure. The Lochaber No More series of 2012 uses a photo-lithograph technique with dusted...
Calum Colvin began working with Edinburgh Printmakers in 2001, using the newly developed technique of photopolymer gravure. The Lochaber No More series of 2012 uses a photo-lithograph technique with dusted metallic pigment highlights.
The Lochaber No More series was created for an exhibition at Traquair House and consists of two images of Charles Edward Stuart, one as a young man and the other much older. Both are printed over a photograph of a constructed stage evoking an odd landscape of carved stone blocks and interior furniture covered with dust sheets.
“The image reflects on the passage of time and evokes the melancholy of lost Jacobite hope. Fragments of burned tartan hint at the tragic outcome of the last Highland Rebellion. The gramophone and a detail of the painting ‘Lochaber No More’ suggests both the Highland Clearances and the song by David Wilkie. The quality of light in the image evokes the fine collection of Jacobite glassware at Traquair. The work also alludes to the tradition of secret symbolism and optical illusionism in Jacobite related art.”
Calum Colvin, 2012
Edinburgh Printmakers hosted a major retrospective of Calum Colvin’s work in 2014, The Magic Box, and many Colvin editions in our collection were made to support this presentation of his work. The Magic Box was accompanied by large-scale public artwork showcasing the artists historic practice on all 125 windows of Castle Mills.
Calum Colvin OBE RS was born in Glasgow. He studied art in Dundee and London before coming to prominence in the mid-1980s.
Colvin's work combines photography, painting, and installation. The artist's early interest in sculpture led him to develop a unique style of 'constructed photography'. Recently, has Colvin used digital technologies to make images. He often explores issues of Scottish identity, culture and representation in art history. He asks uneasy questions about what makes one truly Scottish.
To produce an image, Colvin often creates a "set" from a roomful of objects and then paint a design on them. This design, when seen from one particular viewpoint, appears to form a flat image. When seen from any other viewpoint the illusion would be broken. This is called trompe-l'oeil. Colvin photographs the particular viewpoint that preserves the illusion and exhibits the photograph. At first glance the viewer may think they see a flat image.
Colvin is inspired by David Brewster, a pioneering Scottish photographer who invented optical devises including the kaleidoscope. He also cites Renaissance artist Jacopo Chimenti, who invented stereoscopic images.
Calum Colvin had solo exhibitions at Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Scottish National Portrait Gallery, and Royal Scottish Academy. He has works in the collections of the National Galleries of Scotland, Tate Galleries, and the British Council. He is Professor of Fine Art Photography and Programme Director, Art & Media at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design.