Calum Colvin

James MacMillan, b. 1959. Composer (1996)

About this artwork

When the Scottish National Portrait Gallery commissioned Calum Colvin to create a portrait of the composer, James MacMillan, Colvin visited the composer in his Glasgow home to see where and how he worked. He then built a set in his Edinburgh studio which included references to MacMillan's work and character. In this portrait we can spot the model for the stage set for MacMillan's first full-length opera, Ines de Castro, which he was composing at the time; the manuscripts of the opening and closing bars of the piece; as well as references to his Roman Catholic faith and passionate support of Glasgow Celtic Football Club.

Calum Colvin

Calum Colvin

Calum Colvin was born in Glasgow and studied art in Dundee and London, before coming to prominence in the mid-1980s. His early interest in sculpture led him to develop his unique style of 'constructed photography', creating small sets from everyday objects to resemble domestic interiors. More recently he has used digital technology to generate images that often ask uneasy questions about what makes one truly Scottish. He has exhibited extensively in Europe and the United States and has worked on a number of commissions by the National Galleries of Scotland.