A Portrait for the Future Masterclass

michael marra_A_4517132_1  Screen shot 2014-03-13 at 08.10.11

In 2011, the City ofDundee was selected as the first location to host the V&A’s exhibition of portraits of Her Majesty The Queen by photographer Cecil Beaton, to celebrate The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. It was the first in a series of partnership projects between The McManus and the V&A, as part of the pre-opening programme for the V&A Dundee”

The V&A Dundee Masterclass was designed with innovation at its heart so as to offer participants a stimulating and challenging experience. It was hosted by Calum Colvin who achieved international recognition for his innovative approach to portraiture over the last decade and, who is acknowledged as a leader in his field of digital photography. Using heritage as a starting point for conceptualizing imagery that tells their story, Calum builds a portrait using objects and perspective to give an image that embraces the individual’s unique personality. This innovative approach to photography formed the basis of the masterclass which also used humor, advanced photographic technology and, lighting to experiment and create portraits for the digital future. The subject for the Portraiture masterclass was singer Michael Marra, who was one of Scotland’s most prolific songwriters.

Aimed at professionals working in the Creative Industries, the 3-day event used the Cecil Beaton exhibition at The McManus (in Dundee) as a platform for debate and inspiration. The opportunities that existed for participants included:

  1. Experimenting with new ideas
  2. Pushing the boundaries of your imagination
  3. Enhancing your creative development through intensive learning
  4. Developing new ways of thinking about photography from international expert(s)
  5. Using state of the art photographic equipment, specifically Hasselblad technology worth £40,000, generously sponsored by CALUMET.
  6. Learning about innovation through the making of digital photographs
  7. Showcasing outcomes in a nationally recognised public forum, the McManus galleries, Dundee, as part of a heavily publicised city event.
  8. Extending your professional network
  9. Being inspired and motivated to develop the level of innovation in your practice
  10. Being part of the development of an ambitious, ‘once in a generation’ type of project



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