Calum Colvin

+44 (0)1382 345364
Associate Dean of Research

Bio

Biography

Born in Glasgow in 1961, Calum Colvin has exhibited his work nationally and internationally for over thirty years since graduating from the Royal College of Art, London in 1985. He was a winner of one of the first Scottish Arts Council Creative Scotland Awards from which he created the acclaimed exhibition for the SNPG ‘Ossian, Fragments of Ancient Poetry’ in 2001. He was awarded an OBE the same year and is Professor of Fine Art Photography at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, University of Dundee.

Colvin’s constructed photographic artworks begin as large-scale studio 'stage-sets', tableaux of everyday objects, furniture and bric-a-brac carefully posed and theatrically lit. Viewed from the fixed-point perspective of a large-format camera, painted trompe-l'oeil elements are introduced, integrating object and subject in a complex mise en scene. These are finally photographed on film, digitized and printed onto paper or canvas. These visual illusions/allegories are intended to draw the viewer into a creative dialogue as the images are interpreted, touching on contemporary concerns relating to society, the environment and aspects of national identity.

His works have been widely exhibited in venues as diverse as Orkney, Los Angeles and Ecuador, and are represented in numerous collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Museum of Fine Art, Houston; The Tate Gallery, London and the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh.

Biography

1979-1983: Diploma in Sculpture, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, Dundee.

1983-1985: MA in Photography, Royal College of Art, London.

1985-1993: Lived and worked as artist in London.

1993-2001: Lecturer in Fine Art, University of Dundee.

1995-1996: Senior Research Fellow in Digital Imaging, University of Northumbria.

2001- present: Professor of Fine Art Photography, University of Dundee.

2013 – present: Head of Contemporary Art Practice, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art + Design, University of Dundee. 

Selected Solo Exhibitions

1987-1990: ‘Calum Colvin’ Kathleen Ewing Gallery, Washington DC; Sander Gallery, New York; Friedman-Guinness Gallery, Heidelberg; Torch Gallery, Amsterdam; Richard Pomoroy Gallery, London; Seagate Gallery, Dundee; Salama Caro Gallery, London; Galeria 57, Madrid;Glenn/Dash Gallery, Los Angeles; California State University, Long Beach, California; Friedman-Guinness Gallery, Frankfurt; Pier Arts Centre, Stromness, Orkney; Harris Museum and Art Gallery, Preston; Portfolio Gallery, Edinburgh.

1991:’The Two Ways of Life’ Art Institute of Chicago; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Nickle Arts Museum, Calgary; Winnipeg Art Gallery; Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe .

1993-2000: ’The Seven Deadly  Sins and the Four Last Things’ Portfolio Gallery, Edinburgh; Photographers Gallery, London; Photosynkyria, Thessalonki, Greece;Norwich Arts Centre; BM Contemporary Art Center, Istanbul; Banco Central Art Gallery, Quenca, Ecuador; British Council, Quito, Ecuador; Royal Photographic Society, Bath; Fotomuseum, Stadtmuseum, Munich; Seagate Gallery, Dundee; Photography Centre of Athens; Forum Gallery, Zagreb, Croatia; Varazdin Town Museum, Croatia; BM Contemporary Art Centre, Istanbul; Izfas Art Gallery, Ismir; State Fine Arts Gallery, Ankara; Encontros da Imagem, Braga, Portugal; Kawasaki City Museum, Japan; The Meffan Institute, Angus.

1996- 2000 ‘Pseudologica Fantastica’ Impressions Gallery, York; Focal Point Gallery, Southend -on –Sea; Portfolio Gallery, Edinburgh; Theatr Clwyd, Mold, Wales; Centre Cultural Caixa de Terassa, Barcelona; University of Salamanca; Centro de Arte Contemporaneo, Seville; Viewpoint Gallery, Salford, Manchester; Leeds Metropolitan University Gallery; Piece Hall Gallery, Halifax.

1998-2003:‘Sacred and Profane’ Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh; National Machado de Castro Museum, Coimbra, Portugal; Martha Schneider Gallery, Chicago; Peacock Printmakers, Aberdeen; Crawford Art Centre, St Andrews.

2002-2008: ‘Ossian, Fragments of Ancient Poetry’ Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh; Iona Gallery, Kingussie; Swanson Gallery, Thurso; An Tuireann, Skye; Timespan, Helmsdale; St Fergus Gallery, Wick; Inverness Museum and Art Gallery; Birnam Institute, Dunkeld; Gracefield Arts Centre, Dumfries; Festival de Musique de Beaulieu-sur-Mer, Beaulieu, France; UNESCO, Paris; Inverness County Centre for the Arts, Nova Scotia; University of Guelph, Canada.

2009: ‘Natural Magic’ Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh; Inverness Museum and Art Gallery; Swanson Gallery Thurso; St Fergus Gallery, Wick.

2014: ‘The Magic Box’ Edinburgh Printmakers 1/8/14-6/9/14.

2013/15: ‘Burnsiana’ Robert Burns Birthplace Museum, Ayr; Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh: Dick Institute, Kilmarnock.

2016/17: ‘Jacobites by Name’ Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh; Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh.

2017: ‘Museography’ McManus Galleries, Dundee.

Collections 

Victoria and Albert Museum; Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art, New York; Scottish National Portrait Gallery; The British Council; Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art;

Royal Photographic Society; Arnolfini Collection Trust; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston;

Ferens Museum, Hull; Art Institute of Chicago; Tate Gallery; Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow; Aberdeen Art Gallery; City Art Centre, Edinburgh; Deutsche Bank; The Scottish Parliament.

Publications

Colvin, C, Museography: An invited 'intervention' of artworks within the Collection at The Mc Manus Galleries Dundee., 2017, Exhibition, Dundee.

Research output: Non Textual



Colvin, C, Ages of Wonder: Scotland's Art 1540 to Now, 2017, Exhibition, Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh.

Research output: Non Textual



Colvin, C, Stafford, F, Jamie, K, Lawson, J, Wilson, R & Lawson, J 2016, Jacobites by Name. vol. Artists book, edition 100., Edinburgh.

Research output: Book Anthology



Colvin, C, Jacobites By Name (Various works, mixed media). Exhibition at Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland, 14 November 2015 - 28 March 2016., 2015, Exhibition, Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh.

Research output: Non Textual



Colvin, C, Jacobites by Name. (Various works, mixed media). Exhibition at Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh, 14 Nov 2015 → 27 Mar 2016, 2015, Exhibition, Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh.

Research output: Non Textual



Colvin, C, The Magic Box, 2014, Exhibition, Edinburgh Printmakers, Edinburgh.

Research output: Non Textual



Colvin, C, Watson, A, Normand, T (ed.), Stewart, N, Stafford, F, Wilson, R, Galloway, J, Spence, A, Ogee, F & Gunn, K 2014, The Magic Box. vol. Artists book Edition of 100., Edinburgh Printmakers, Edinburgh.

Research output: Book Anthology



Colvin, C, Natural Magic, 2009, Exhibition, Scotland.

Research output: Non Textual



Colvin, C 2009,

'Smoke and Mirrors: construction, trickery and surface in my work from a historical perspective' Studies in Photography, vol. 2009, no. n/a, pp. 44-51.

Research output: Contribution To Journal



Colvin, CBurnsiana.

Research output: Other Contribution



Macmillan, D, Gaskill, H, Hewitt, D, Campbell, AP, Macdonald, M, Normand, T & Colvin, C 2008,

'Ossian: then and now' Interfaces, vol. 27.

Research output: Contribution To Journal



Colvin, C, Baetens, J (ed.) & Van Gelder, H (ed.) 2007,

'Hybridity, old and new technologies in Calum Colvin’s work' History of Photography, vol. 31, no. 1, pp. 11-21.

Research output: Contribution To Journal



Colvin, C 2007,

'(Re-) making Ossian' Interfaces, vol. 27, pp. 99-108.

Research output: Contribution To Journal



Colvin, C, The Breathing House, 2003, Digital or Visual Products.

Research output: Non Textual



Colvin, C, Ossian, fragments of ancient poetry, 2002, Exhibition.

Research output: Non Textual



Colvin, C & Normand, T, Ossian: fragments of ancient poetry, 2002, Exhibition catalogue, Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh.

Research output: Non Textual



Colvin, C & Michael, K, True Fictions, Inszenierte Fotokunst der 1990er Jahre, 2001, Digital or Visual Products.

Research output: Non Textual



View full profile on research portal

Activities

The Magic Box

Role: Contributor
Activity: Festival/Exhibition

1 8 2014

Ossian Then and Now

Role: Invited speaker
Activity: Participation in conference

19 11 2005

Natural Magic

Role: Host
Activity: Festival/Exhibition

6 3 2009

Natural Magic

Role: Host
Activity: Festival/Exhibition

23 12 2009

Natural Magic

Role: Host
Activity: Festival/Exhibition

20 2 2010

Inspired

Role: Contributor
Activity: Festival/Exhibition

4 4 2009

Burnsiana

Role: Participant
Activity: Festival/Exhibition

4 4 2009

Burnsiana

Role: Participant
Activity: Festival/Exhibition

14 2 2009

Burnsiana

Role: Participant
Activity: Festival/Exhibition

28 1 2009

Burnsiana

Role: Participant
Activity: Festival/Exhibition

21 11 2008

Burnsiana

Role: Participant
Activity: Festival/Exhibition

30 9 2006

Burnsiana

Role: Participant
Activity: Festival/Exhibition

7 6 2013

A Portrait of Scotland

Role: Contributor
Activity: Types of Public engagement and outreach - Media article or participation

7 9 2009