Michael Callaghan





Michael Callaghan, born 1952, is a graduate of the National Art School, Sydney. In 1975 Callaghan worked at the Tin Sheds, University of Sydney, he tutored in Post Object Art and in 1976 he joined Earthworks Poster Collective. This seminal poster-making group produced the radical political posters that energized and visually recorded the tumultuous political landscape of the 1970_s. In 1979 Callaghan founded Redback Graphix in Brisbane, while working as Artist in Residence at Griffith University. Redback was a deliberate development in practice from the more ad hoc approach of the of earlier poster workshops. Founded on the principle that artists are paid a living wage, designed to operate as an alternative arts studio working toward political and social change across a broad issues base. In 1980/81 Redback relocated to Wollongong, joined later by other artists Redback developed a broad clientele in the local community, union movement, indigenous community and on a broad national basis. In 1985 Redback moved to Sydney were it continues to operate. Callaghan and Redback Graphix are represented in many private and public collections nationally and internationally. In 2009 he was awarded H. C. Coombs Creative Arts Fellowship, in the School of Art, Department of Humanities at the Australian National University.


Gestetner to One Arm Bandit


A panel discussion facilitated by Alison Alder between Michael Callaghan, Glenn Barkley, Mini Graff and Anna Zagala.

A low-tech process, combined with cheap materials has the capacity to unleash a power that is often lost when the method of production takes over from the rawness of the original idea.

The alluring printed 'look', exemplified in Australia with prints made in the 1930s, 70 & 80s has resurfaced in the first decade of the twenty-first century. Screen printing, offset and letterpress on stencils, stickers and posters are commandeered to make new work seen both on the street and in the gallery.

There is a traceable line of activity within Australian cultural networks where accessible printing equipment has been used to make wonderful work ' gestetner machines are an example from the late 60s/early 70s; Big Fag Press' use of an offset proofing press is a contemporary example along with a resurgence of screen printed artwork.

This history, and its current manifestations, will be explored through a panel discussion and interrogation of work made from the late 1970s to the present.


Wednesday 28 September


1:30pm - 3.00pm





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