Colin Cameron was born into an army family in Cheltenham in 1964. He was educated at a school for spastics in High Wycombe and at polytechnics and universities in Brighton, Hull, Newcastle, Leicester and Edinburgh. He never studied art at any of these, though, except at school, where his art teacher once wrote on a report: ‘His attitude is so bad that it is not surprising that he has made so little progress’.
His current work is more or less the same sort of stuff he used to produce back then, so he has continued to fail to make progress. He was dismissed by his headmaster as ‘an idiosyncratic weirdo’ and ‘an esoteric nutcase’ and by the course leader of his social policy degree at Brighton as ‘too f***ing lazy’.
Being crippled in a serious road accident at the age of nine in 1974 has given him a disturbed but interesting perspective on the world, and his love of the dark, the seedy, the obnoxious and the marginal was developed early on. Having been patronised and condescended to by more non-disabled nitwits than he cares to remember has given him a sharp eye for the stupidity of life.
In his work he explores ideas around normality and abnormality, the grotesque and the ideal, ambiguity and identity, impairment and disability, anger, oppression, violence, resistance, conformity and the ridiculousness that conformity requires. He has worked in a range of roles in the disabled people’s movement, got his PhD in 2010, and is a senior lecturer in Disability Studies at Northumbria University.
He has recently been identifed and confirmed as a Stuckist by Paul Harvey and Charles Thomson. He lives in Whitley Bay, in Northumberland in the North-East of England, with his wife Maggie and three animals.
He is the editor of:
Peter Mortimer, the subject of the Mortraits, is a celebrated poet, playwright and novella writer who lives in Cullercoats. The Mortraits represent an attempt to explore the complexities and depths of Mortimer’s character, while asking questions about his place in relation to modern society and modern society’s place in relation to him.
Just as many of Mortimer’s works address and celebrate the inherent absurdity of life, these paintings address and celebrate his own inherent absurdity.
Cameron produced the first, Mortimer as Pope Pius VII (with apologies to Sir Thomas Lawrence), around Christmas 2015 principally for his own amusement. Doing the rounds of Whitley Bay pubs, the painting began to provoke critical questions, along the lines of What? and Why? Responding to moderate public demand, Cameron began to knock out more this summer and has exhibited at the Whitley Bay Film Festival and the Exchange North Shields.
Now you've seen Mortimer's backside, buy his books.
"Most artists spend years learning to paint and aspiring to exhibitions. You’ve done it the other way round."
"I was at The National Gallery in Edinburgh last week and I couldn’t look at any of the paintings without seeing Mortimer’s head."