Calum Colvin

Keynote lecture

In his presentation Mr. Colvin I will discuss a selection of works concentrating on projects which deal specifically with notions of translation and literary themes. Presenting a selection of his oeuvre from the last twenty-five years, he will describe the evolution of his visual language, itsrelation to painting, photography history, literature and poetry. He will attempt to explain how his visual language engages with wider themes, using disparate artistic practices in an interdisciplinary process in order to create a multi-referential artwork. In this respect he has made a point of utilising the unique fixed-point perspective of the camera, in order to create elaborate narratives. These narratives have the quality of being both open and closed. They are closed in that they clearly refer to given icons and archetypes of Western culture, but open in that they accommodate any number of potential readings. These readings, in turn, reflect the contemporary cultural climate and the unique authorial role of the viewer.

Mr. Colvin will discuss in particular the development of his 2001 exhibition ‘Ossian, Fragments of Ancient Poetry’ within it’s historical and literary context. Other projects he will discuss include ‘In Memoriam’, an interdisciplinary project with the Dept of English and the Dept of Anatomy at Dundee University.

Born in Glasgow in 1961, Calum Colvin was a winner of one of the first SAC Creative Scotland Awards and is a holder of a Royal Photographic Society Gold Medal. He was awarded an OBE in 2001 and is Professor of Fine Art Photography at Duncan of Jordanstone College, University of Dundee. Colvin’s artworks are internationally renowned and widely exhibited.

A practitioner of both sculpture and photography, Colvin brings these disciplines together in his unique style of ‘constructed photography’: assembled tableaux of objects, which are then painted and photographed. His work is held in numerous collections including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Art Institute of Chicago; The Victoria and Albert Museum, London and the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh where he lives and works.

Mr. Colvin will deliver his keynote lecture on the Saturday. An exhibition of a selection of his paintings, “Ekphrasis”, will be mounted in the Nordic House in conjunction with the conference.