Scottish Contemporary artist celebrated in new book charting his work over past four decades


A SCOTTISH Contemporary artist is to be celebrated in a new book charting his work over the past forty years.

Calum Colvin is a Fine Art Photography professor at the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design in Dundee and art historian Tom Normand has written the book examining his work.

The Constructed World of Calum Colvin is the first major retrospective examination of one of Scotland’s leading contemporary artists  and how he has developed his creativity over time.

Calum Colvin (C) Alicia Bruce

Under the mentorship of documnetary photographer Joseph McKenzie professor Colvin discovered his love of photography while he studied sculpture at the Duncan of Jordanstone in the 1980s.

The book reveals the intricacy and method undertaken by Calum Colvin that led to some of his most iconic pieces.

His work graduated quickly from early emotive black and white images of desolate subjects to layered installations, taken with a large field-camera, carefully composed over up to three months.

He has exhibited extensively in Europe and the United States and has worked on commissions for several major galleries, with the Scottish Parliament being among the venues to feature his work.

The artists photographs are complex constructions composed of three-dimensional stage-sets, populated by everyday household objects and overpainted with subjects that relate to fine art, popular culture, global history, identity and ecology.

Twa Dogs -Calum Colvin

Professor Colvin said: “You build up quite a body of work over the decades so it is very exciting to be able to look back at your career in this way.

“When you produce work for years it evolves over that time so the surprise for me is to see my output juxtaposed and discussed in terms of themes rather than by the date.

“When the idea was proposed to me I instantly wanted it to be a very readable book that people outside the art bubble will get as well. I have known Tom Normand for years and he probably knows my work better than anyone so he was the perfect person to write it.”

The Constructed Worlds of Calum Colvin will be launched at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery on Friday 23 August. A series of other events to celebrate the launch of the book will be held across Scotland in the coming months.