An exhibition by the University of Dundee’s contemporary artist Calum Colvin will be displayed at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh later this month until March 2016
As one of two new exhibitions set to mark the 300th anniversary of the Jacobite Risings of 1715 and 1745, “Jacobites by Name” will showcase the visual imagery and legacy of one of Scotland’s most important historical periods.
I want to re-interpret the matrix of symbols and allusions that they carry and, through a range of different types of contemporary making, bring them into the digital ageCalum Colvin, Professor of Fine Art Photography at the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design
Colvin’s work will be displayed to the public from Saturday 14 November, joining “Rise and Fall: The Earl of Mar and the 1715 Jacobite Rising” with a variety of paintings and illustrations.
Colvin is the Professor of Fine Art Photography at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design; part of the University of Dundee.
He said: “This new body of work investigates the traces of Jacobite material culture, portraiture and visual illusion to be found in Scottish museums up and down the country.
“I wanted to take a fresh look at this material with a view to re-interpret the matrix of symbols and allusions that they carry and, through a range of different types of contemporary making, bring them into the digital age.”
The works are contrasted with the existing collection in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery and question the role of this familiar iconography in Scottish national culture.”
Amongst the professor’s new works are “Lochaber no More”, which associates two images of Charles Edward Stuart - the Jacobite pretender to the throne and instigator of the failed second Jacobite Uprising - at different stages of his life.
Another monumental figure in the Jacobite period was John Erskine, 6th Earl of Mar, who is the focus of “Rise and Fall”.
Professor Colvin’s work alludes to the traditions of secret symbolism and optical illusionism in Jacobite-related art. As support for the exiled Stuarts could lead to accusations of disloyalty to the Crown, ‘secret’ portraits of the Pretenders could be found on folded fans, sewn discreetly onto articles of clothing, or concealed on the inside lid of a box.
Professor Colvin has exhibited his works across Europe and the United States, as well as completing commissions for the National Galleries of Scotland.
Christopher Baker, Director of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, said: “The Jacobite struggle remains potent and romantic 300 years after the key events that defined it.
“These complementary displays connect powerful portraiture of the 18th century with contemporary responses, and remind us in an engaging and inspiring way of a turbulent period in Scottish history.”
Thanks to the support of the National Trust for Scotland and the Leverhulme Trust, “Jacobites by Name” and “Rise and Fall: The Earl of Mar and the 1715 Jacobite Rising” will be on display at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Queen Street, Edinburgh, from 14th November until 27th March next year.