Friday, 12 July 2013

Posters and Graphic Design

Michael Callaghan, Mary Callaghan and Nick Southall, Greetings from Wollongong
screenprint, Redback Graphix, Wollongong, 1982

Mary Callaghan (1955-2016) is best known as an Australian film director, responsible for Greetings from Wollongong 1982, the feature Tender Hooks 1989 and her work with Rights of Passage 2013. However she was also a graphic designer and poster artist, working on a number of occasions solo or with her brother Michael Callaghan (1952-2012) and others such as Jan Mackay.

Between 1974-6 Mary attended the Film and Television School at Swinburne College, Melbourne. Her earliest screen-printed work in a public collection dates from 1975 when she made use of the facilities at the Preston Institute of Art and where, for a brief period, she was a lecturer in film studies. For a number of years during the late 1970s Mary was also a collaborator at the Earthworks Poster Collective, Tin Sheds, University of Sydney. She exhibited in the 'Walls Sometimes Speak' exhibition of 1977 and did screenprinting at the Tin Sheds in 1978-9. Her brother Michael was a core member of Earthworks at the time and a driving force behind the setting up of Redback Graphix in 1979. He continued to make prints and other works of art right up to the time of his death in May 2012. Mary's work in the area of poster design and graphic design is less well known. This page brings together information about that work, whilst also touching briefly on her achievements in film. The latter are descibed in detail at Steel City Pictures and Greetings from Wollongong.

Australian collecting institutions such as the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, and the Powerhouse Museum and State Library of New South Wales in Sydney have a large collection of posters by Australian artists and graphic designers. They list numerous works by, or associated with, Mary Callaghan from the 1970s and 1980s. The University of Wollongong and Wollongong City Gallery also include a large number of works by Michael and Mary Callaghan. A listings of Mary Callaghan's known works is given below. Due to the collective nature of the Earthworks Poster Collective and, to a lesser extent Redback Graphix, there is often confusion in regards to attribution of individual works, with a number of people often involved in design, stencil cutting and final printing. Mary is therefore listed below as being associated with a number of works which have heretofore been otherwise attributed. These attributions are based on discussions by this author with Mary during 2013-14.

Early works 

1. Wonder Woman's Revenge Pt.1 1975

Mary Callaghan, screenprint, printed in colour from two stencils on yellow paper, 81.4 x 50.6 cm. Poster promoting a play held at the Salvation Army Citadel, Fitzroy, Victoria between May 19 - June 13 1975. The masked woman in the poster, throwing a blood-filled tampon, is Mary Callaghan, from a photograph taken by her friend Angela Gee. The poster was printed on the facilities at the Preston Institute, Melbourne. Collections: National Gallery of Australia NGA 89.1186; Queensland Art Gallery 1993.176.


2. MEDI TATE 1975

Mary Callaghan, screenprint, placed on the inside of the doors of the Mens toilets at the Preston Institute of Art, Melbourne, during 1975. The image was primarily of a red tampon. According to the artist, "... during International Woman's Year some saw it as revolutionary; some felt threatened; some enjoyed the bizarreness of it but it certainly made a big impression on staff and students at Preston Institute.... The church has used blood and the fact that women bleed to justify their patriarchy and discrimination against women ... hence blood is blood is blood, if you get what I mean." (Mary Callaghan, pers. comm. 2013). A variant of the screen print was published in the Melbourne-based Lip magazine during 1977 (refer below).

3. Its hard to change your lifestyle overnight 1975

Mary Callaghan, screenprint, printed in colours from 12 stencils, 65.2 x 91.8 cm. This poster is related to Mary's experimental film Image Plus 1975, produced during her time at the Film and Television School, Swinburne College, Melbourne. It was printed at the Preston Institute of Art. Collection: National Gallery of Australia NGA 93.313.


4.  LIP is here 1976

Mary Callaghan, screenprint, 56.5 x 43 cm. Poster announcing the publication of feminist magazine LIP - A Journal of Women in the Visual Arts, Melbourne, 1976. Collection: Queensland Art Gallery 1993.175.


5. Femininity doesn't mean lack of bite 1977

Angela Gee and Mary Callaghan, cover design for LIP - A Journal of Women in the Visual Arts, issues 2 & 3, Melbourne, 1977. Mary Callaghan produced solo and collaborative graphic material and stories for this magazine. The two part cover was adapted from the cover of Woman, 1907, a publication of the National Woman's League. Collection: Mary Callaghan.



6. Blood is blood is blood 1977

Mary Callaghan, screenprint in colour on board, 27.9 x 19.7 cm. Liftout poster available with the combined issues 2 & 3 of LIP - A Journal of Women in the Visual Arts, Melbourne, 1977. This image was a development of the theme present in the MEDI TATE 'kamikaze' screenprint of 1975 (refer above). Collection: Queensland Art Gallery 1993.174.

7.Werner Herzog - Stroszek: The Ballad of Bruno S... 1978

Mary Callaghan, screenprint, printed in colours from three stencils. Earthworks Poster Collective, Tin Sheds, University of Sydney. Poster promoting the screening of German film director Werner Herzog's Stroszek at the Music Room Cinema, Sydney Opera House, 31 July - 27 August 1978.


8. The Stolen Land: Israel is Occupied Palestine! (English version) 1978

Michael Callaghan, Mary Callaghan and Kerry Woodhill, screenprint, printed in colour from three stencils, 53 x 41.6 cm. Earthworks Poster Collective, Tin Sheds, University of Sydney. Attributed to Michael and Mary Callaghan in State Library of New South Wales listing; attributed to Michael Callaghan and Kerry Woodhill in Anna Zagala's Redback Graphix catalogue, page 10 (illustrated).


9. The Stolen Land: Israel is Occupied Palestine! (Arabic version) 1978

Michael Callaghan, Mary Callaghan and Kerry Woodhill, screenprint, printed in colour from three stencils, 53 x 41.6 cm. Earthworks Poster Collective, Tin Sheds, University of Sydney.


10. Tal Al Zaatar 1978

Michael Callaghan, Mary Callaghan and Kerry Woodhill, screenprint, printed in colour from three stencils. Earthworks Poster Collective, Tin Sheds, University of Sydney. Poster commemorating the Tal (Tel) Al Zaatar massacre in a Palestinean refugee camp during 1976, with approximately 3000 people killed and 4000 wounded. Attibuted to Callaghan and Woodhill on the Australian Prints and Printmaking site, and to Michael and Mary Callaghan on the State Library of New South Wales listing.


11. Stilletto - License to Rage - Googbye Johnny - Single out now 1978

Mary Callaghan, screenprint, Earthworks Poster Collective, Tin Sheds, University of Sydney. Poster for the latest single by the band Sydney band Stiletto. Collection: Mary Callaghan.


12. Hot Crusifixon Dance 1979

Jan McKay and Mary Callaghan, screenprint, printed in colour from three stencils. Earthworks Poster Collective, Tin Sheds, University of Sydney. Poster for a concert held at the Tin Sheds on Good Friday, 13th April 1979 and featuring Australian bands the XL Capris and Scarlet. Collection: National Gallery of Australia; Mary Callaghan.
13. Cock-eyed Playboys - Keep the Home Fires Burning 1979

Mary Callaghan, postcard, screenprint in two flourescent colours, Earthworks Poster Collective, Tin Sheds, University of Sydney, 1979, 17.9 x 12.8 cm. Produced for International Women's Day, 1979. The text on the rear of the postcard reads: It's all too depressing ... even more so for those who don't stop being blacks or women the movement the media fad fades IWD 1979. Collection: Mary Callaghan.



14.  Woman's day again. If I'm gonna be alone I'd rather be by myself she said 1979


Mary Callaghan, postcard, screenprint in two flourescent colours, Earthworks Poster Collective, Tin Sheds, University of Sydney, March 1979, 17.8 x 12.7 cm. Produced for International Women's Day, 1979. Quote by Marilyn Monroe from the film The Misfits. Collection: Mary Callaghan.


15. Beginning of School Holiday Dance 1979

Ray Young and Mary Callaghan, screenprint, 76 x 51 cm, Earthworks Poster Collective, Tin Sheds, University of Sydney. Collection: National Gallery of Australia; Mary Callaghan.


 Steel City Pictures

In 1979 Mary Callaghan began work on the social realist film Greetings from Wollongong. Filmed during 1980-81 and released the following year, it was well-received internationally, though "run-out-of-town" locally due to the fact that the picture it painted of Wollongong during this period of social upheaval was not one the City Fathers appreciated. In association with the production and filming of Greetings from Wollongong Mary and her brother Michael and others were responsible for a number of posters and postcards printed in a variety of locations (Griffith University, Queensland, the Tin Sheds workshop, University of Sydney, and the Redback Graphix studio in Wollongong) between 1979 and 1982, to both assist with fundraising and promote the film. For example, Anna Zagala's book Redback Graphix (National Gallery of Australia 2008) lists seven posters produced either with Steel City Pictures as a client or to promote the film. The following is a list of items attributed to Mary Callaghan in collaboration with other artists.

16. Postcards: Greetings from Wollongong - version 1 [single sheet] 1979

Michael Callaghan and Mary Callaghan, screenprint, Redback Posters, Griffith University, Brisbane. Zagala catalogue no.3. Variants of these images also appeared in the University of Wollongong student newspaper Tertangala, promoting the work of Steel City Pictures and its fundraising efforts.


17. Nice Poster (Steel City Pictures Benefit Dance) 1980

Michael Callaghan and Mary Callaghan, screenprint, 86 x 65 cm, Redback Graphix, Wollongong. Zagala catalogue no.7. This poster was a true collaborative work between Michael and Mary, with both involved in the design, drawing, cutting of stencils and printing. Collection: National Gallery of Australia; University of Wollongong Art Collection.


18. Greetings from Wollongong 1982

Michael Callaghan, Mary Callaghan and Nick Southall, screenprint, Redback Graphix, Wollongong. The design incorporates images from the film by Mary Callaghan, with design work by Michael Callaghan and printing assistance by Nick Southall.


19. Postcards: Greetings from Wollongong - version 2 [single sheet] 1982

Michael Callaghan and Mary Callaghan, screenprint, Redback Graphix, Wollongong. Zagala catalogue no.26, therein attributed to Michael Callaghan. Collection: National Gallery of Australia; University of Wollongong Art Collection.


20. Postcards: Greetings from Wollongong - version 2 [double sheet] 1982

Michael Callaghan and Mary Callaghan, screenprint, Redback Graphix, Wollongong. Not listed in Zagala.


Tru-VuPictures

Mary Callaghan's second film was the Tru-Vu Pictures feature release of 1989 starring Jo Kennedy and Nick Needles, entitled Tender Hooks, original title Contact

21. Contact 1989

Mary Callaghan, flyer poster, offset lithograph. Early promotional item for the film later released as Tender Hooks 1989.


22. Tender Hooks 1989

Michael Callaghan and Mary Callaghan, offset lithograph, printed in colour, 83 x 58.6 cm, Printcraft Pty. Ltd. for Tru-Vu Pictures, Annandale. Zagala catalogue no.190. Therein attributed to Michael Callaghan. An advanced flyer was also produced, under the film's original title Contact. Mary worked on the graphical background, whilst Michael inserted the photographic elements. Collection: National Gallery of Australia; University of Wollongong Art Collection.


Between 2008-2012 Mary Callaghan also worked on Phillip Crawford's Rights of Passage 2013, an Australian film about young people. She was given a co-director credit. Mary died in January 2016 following a long battle with cancer.


References

Anna Zagala, Redback Graphix, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 2008, 128p.

Mary Callaghan [entry], Internet Movie Database, accessed 10 July 2013.

Michael Organ
Last updated: 5 January 2016

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