Critically acclaimed for his complex constructed photographs, Calum Colvin RSA is known for creating three-dimensional stage sets involving household objects which are overpainted with subjects that relate to art history, popular culture, literature and mythology.


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 scène. These are finally photographed on film, digitized and printed onto paper or canvas.


These visual illusions and 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.


Born in Glasgow in 1961, Colvin has exhibited his work nationally and internationally for over thirty years since graduating from the Royal College of Art 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 Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Ossian, Fragments of Ancient Poetry, in 2001. In the same year he was awarded an OBE and he is Professor of Fine Art Photography and Associate Dean at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, Dundee. His works have been widely exhibited in venues as diverse as Orkney, Los Angeles and Ecuador, and are represented in numerous collections including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Museum of Fine Art, Houston; The Tate Gallery, London; and the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art.