Through his practice, Calum Stevenson (b. 1997, Falkirk, Scotland) examines aspects of his surroundings and represents his perception of the world to the viewer, touching on the fear in society which is generated by the control of the state. The collection of paintings and digital collage are sculpted by Scottish surroundings of brutalist architecture and deteriorating social housing, as well as personal experiences of violent protests, both of which comment on the oppressing themes within our contemporary society.
His recent approach to painting is a combination of figurative and abstraction. By removing the hand from painting this creates uncontrolled marks and gestures, introducing an element of serendipity to the work, whilst police figures are rendered in a controlled state to reinforce the authoritarian response. The abstract backgrounds represent the unpredictable environments and events which transpire. Our superficially certain reality is questioned by recent events and reveals the fragility and instability in society.
Most of the work appears in negative, which is a result of his interest in digital integration and the relationship between human life and technology. In his development stage, images are digitally manipulated before being translated onto the canvas, which sees Stevenson become part of that machine process.
Calum graduated from GSA in 2020 with a Masters in Fine Art Practice and previously graduated with a BA (Hons) in Fine Arts from DJCAD in 2019. Stevenson was the recipient of the Sandra McNeilance Prize for Drawing & Painting in 2019.
In 2020, Calum was shortlisted for the Scottish Portrait Awards and ACS Studio Prize. In 2021, Calum won the Sky Portrait Artist of the Year commission. His painting of Nicola Benedetti hangs in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. And he has since joined the Scottish Portrait Awards Fine Art Panel as a judge in Feb 2022.