Artist Talk with Calum Colvin

On Friday, January 27th, Gallery 23 welcomed Calum Colvin, OBE to give a lecture on his famous series of portraits on Robert Burns. Calum gave a fantastic presentation and signed copies of his Burnsiana. The exhibition, “Toast To The Lassies: Robert Burns & The Role of Women” closes February 13th.



Burnsiana: Artworks and Poems Inspired by the Life and Legacy of Robert Burns
Rab Wilson (Author), Calum Colvin (Artist).

This unique reflection on the world of Robert Burns places a range of photographic artworks by celebrated Scottish artist Calum Colvin alongside poems written in response to each work by ‘weel-kent’ Scots poet Rab Wilson.

Colvin’s multi-referential artworks are concerned with the very process of looking, perceiving and interpreting. The potential meaning of any individual piece is intrinsically linked to the viewer’s personal deconstruction of the image. Utilising the unique fixed-point perspective of the camera, Colvin creates and records manipulated and constructed images in order to create elaborate narratives which meditate on numerous aspects of Scottish culture, identity and the human condition in the early 21st century.

At times witty, controversial and tender, the images are presented alongside poems in response by Rab Wilson which equally reflect on the life and aspects of Burns to dwell on who we are, and where we have been, toward what we may become. As Burns reflected through his art the world he inhabited, these works and words strive to reflect on a myriad of contemporary concerns.


Calum Colvin’s The 7 Deadly Sins and the Four Last Things (1993) ’The Seven Deadly Sins and the Four Last Things’ are a series of 13 large scale computer manipulated photo works, based on the painting of the same name by the 15th cent. Flemish painter Hieronymous Bosch, the work explores aspects of Scotland’s’ history and culture, incorporating broader themes relating to global exploitation, pollution and morality in the late 20th century. Exhibited world-wide including venues in Edinburgh, London, Athens, Istanbul, Munich, Milan, Dundee, Zagreb, Stockholm, Helsinki and Kawasaki, awarded in 1997 the 13th Higashikawa Overseas Photographer Prize, sponsored and financed by Portfolio Gallery, Edinburgh, B+S Visual Technologies, Glasgow, The British Council, and The Scottish Arts Council, works in collection of Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow, Ferens Art Gallery, Hull and City Art Centre Edinburgh. Exhibition catalogue by Tom Normand, University of St. Andrews.

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