Museography: A Reflection on McManus Collections

The rich and varied collection displayed in The McManus: Dundee’s Art Gallery & Museum is the focus of a major new exhibition by esteemed Scottish artist, Calum Colvin, as part of the museum’s 150th celebrations. In ‘Museography: Calum Colvin Reflects on The McManus Collections’, the artist has positioned a number of his intriguing photographs within the gallery spaces, which comment upon, and relate to, selected permanent displays throughout the galleries.

Born in Glasgow in 1961, Calum Colvin has exhibited his work nationally and internationally for over thirty years since graduating from the Royal College of Art in 1985.

The starting process of Colvin’s work is a studio set. The set is adorned with every kind of everyday objects – from furniture, ironing boards, gramophones and wallpaper to books, prints and even monocycles. It is onto this assortment that the artist paints his subject – a scene, an episode, a portrait. Added to this stunning mix are 3-D photographs that challenge the nature of photography as a two-dimensional practice. There are complicated ‘Mirror Anamorphosis’ where the stretched photograph is laid flat in a circular form and viewed from an upright cylindrical mirror, in the centre of the piece, allowing the imagery to take shape as a subject. The end result is magical – stunning works which are almost like a puzzle or riddle. Familiar objects become fascinating and mysterious. In each photograph, the more you look, the more you see.

Colvin explains: “I am delighted to be given the opportunity to showcase my work at the McManus at this very special time for the Museum and for Dundee in general. Having begun my career as an artist at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, and having such a close relationship with the city over many years I am very pleased to see my images integrated into this collection of artefacts and artworks, which tell and re-tell the story of Dundee and it’s people in such a compelling manner. I hope my works can add to this narrative, both in the context of making art and telling stories which reflect on the City and the Museum.

Museography: Calum Colvin Reflects on The McManus Collections runs from Friday 7 July to Sunday 29 October 2017 and is one of a number of exciting exhibitions and events in a year-long programme to celebrate the 150th anniversary of The McManus. Admission is free. Opening times: Mon to Sat 10am-5pm; Sun 12.30-4.30pm.