Calum Colvin began working with Edinburgh Printmakers in 2001, using the newly developed technique of photopolymer gravure. The Fragment series of 2004 used an ambitious scale for this technique and...
Calum Colvin began working with Edinburgh Printmakers in 2001, using the newly developed technique of photopolymer gravure. The Fragment series of 2004 used an ambitious scale for this technique and developed imagery based around the Scottish Poems of Ossian. The series was later exhibited in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.
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 artists'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 prioneering 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.