Calum Colvin

Professor Calum Colvin OBE DA MA(RCA) RSA

Born 26 October 1961, Glasgow

Artist’s Statement
My work is a hybrid of concerns and practices from the disciplines of Sculpture, Painting, Electronic Imaging and Photography. I use painting and lighting techniques in the construction of elaborate narrative tableau, which are photographed and exhibited as large-scale colour photographic prints. I am interested in the process of transformation that occurs when everyday objects are juxtaposed with painted images (often) appropriated from the annals of Western Art History. The 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 national identity, exploring the artists role in these.


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

1983-85                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     Programme Director, Art + Media, University of Dundee


1983: SED Travelling Fellowship

1986: Prize-winner, ‘Young European Photographer of the Year Award’

1987: The Photographers Gallery ‘Brandt Award’

1989: Royal Photographic Society Gold Medal

1997: The 13th Higashikawa Overseas Photographer Prize

2000: SAC/National Lottery Creative Scotland Award

2000:Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship

2002: Carnegie Trust Award

2003: Critics Award for Theatre in Scotland (Set Design)

2006: Maude Gemmell Hutchison Prize, Royal Scottish Academy.

2007: AHRC Research Leave Award

2008: Sir William Gillies Bequest, Royal Scottish Academy.

2009: Carnegie Trust Award.

2013: University of Dundee Stephen Fry Award for Public Engagement with Research.

2014: Carnegie Trust Award.

2014: Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship.

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 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.

2009: ‘Recent Works’ Galerie Top-Art, inSPIRACJE Festival, Szczecin, Poland.

2012: ‘Ekphrasis’  Selected Works by Calum Colvin’ Nordic House, Rekjavik, Iceland.

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.


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.

Selected Publications

Calum Colvin pp110 exhibition publication, text by David Alan Mellor, Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh 1990.ISBN 0 947912 76 2.

The Two Ways of Life exhibition catalogue, Colin Westerbeck and David Alan Mellor, Art Institute of Chicago 1991.

The Seven Deadly Sins and the Four Last Things exhibition catalogue, Tom Normand, Portfolio Gallery 1993. ISBN 0 9520608 1 7.

Sacred and Profane Full colour 47 page catalogue published by The National Galleries of Scotland, text by James Lawson 1998. ISBN0 903598 82 5.

Photography after Photography 1996, Full colour 308 pp catalogue published in English and German by G+B Arts International, text by Florian Rötzer, Victor Burgin, Martha Rosler etc. ISBN 90-5701-101-8.

Ossian Fragments of Ancient Poetry, Full colour 64 page catalogue published by The National Galleries of Scotland, text by Tom Normand 2002. ISBN 1 903278 35 X.

Natural Magic Full colour 22 page catalogue published by the Royal Scottish Academy, text by Tom Normand and Prof Nicholas Wade, 2009 ISBN 978-0-905783-18-5.

Burnsiana Calum Colvin, Rab Wilson, Luath Press, Edinburgh 2014 ISBN 978-I-908373-91-9.

The Magic Box Full colour limited edition artists book published by Edinburgh Printmakers, text by Tom Normand, Arthur Watson, Janice Galloway, Alan Spence, Naomi Stewart, Frederic Ogee 2014. ISBN 978-0-9541530-7-6.