Today Michael Callaghan (4 November 1952 – 19 May 2012) is laid to rest in Exeter, New South Wales. The flier with funeral arrangements read:
Artist – Raconteur – Reader – Collector – Pleasure Seeker – Holder of Hearts.
I'm not sure I've ever read a more affectionate description of a person in such few words.
When I finished writing my book on Redback Graphix Michael asked me which poster I would like for myself. One of the posters I selected was this 1984 poster for Raise The Dole Dance. It hangs in my kitchen, its live-wire figure carving it up on a Japanese dance floor. I never tire of its vibrant colours, the sheer mentalness of it. I'm a long way from down-and-out Wollongong and those desperate economic times. Michael captured the restless spirit of its underclass without peer. Like all great designers he had a freaky sensitivity to atmosphere. In words and pictures, he gave it form.
We'll miss you.