Bendigo artist and BSSC alumni, Callan Graham, will be honoured in a posthumous exhibition in May.

Callan died suddenly of a heart attack in April. He was 30.

After his funeral, friends and fellow artists had the idea to put together an exhibition of Callan’s work.

Callan’s mother Joy Graham said his death was very sudden.

“We haven’t had the final report yet. It happened very suddenly, very quickly,” she said.

“He was talking to his teacher on Facebook about his next presentation at 1.50pm. His housemate found him at 3pm.”

For Joy, seeing the exhibition come together was an amazing outpouring of love for her son.

“For the funeral we suggested (to his friends) that if you want to put something on paper to make into book, they should bring it to the funeral,” she said.

“One of his close friends, Emily, said she wanted to put on an exhibition and asked for my permission.

“I said ‘do what want and let me know how I can help’, but she said to let her do it.

“All of sudden she had got people on board who wanted to help put it together, help with framing artworks, paying printing costs and all sorts to get it together.”

The exhibition, titled CALLANart, will be held from May 12 to 14 at Dudley House in View Street.

It will be made up of works Joy has on her computer.

“On my computer there are about 50 pieces. Quite a few are personal commissions,” Joy said.

“I have been a crumpled mess on the floor and felt like I’ve been drowning but his friends, colleagues and everyone has lifted me up.”

Joy said Callan had always been driven to create and be an artist.

“All through his life he felt that this is what he wanted,” she said.

“He was worried early on that society wouldn’t let him be himself, that society wouldn’t let him be an artist. That there would be an outward push to get a haircut and a real job.

“But this was his life, everything he did was built around it.

“The wonderful thing now is to know he was accepted and that his work was accepted and applauded.”

Joy said Callan’s artwork was the way he would live on.

“We haven’t got him here physically but his work and art will go on,” she said.

“The emotion and everything he put into to his work and anything else he did was very encouraging and uplifting.

“He always wanted to create and see everyone following their dream. He would say ‘there is no wrong’.”

Artist Laurie Davies is one of Callan’s many friends to help with the exhibition.

“A few other artists and myself decided it would be a great remembrance for him,” Laurie said.

“We wanted to do an exhibition of his work because he never really got to show it in a gallery setting. We want to see as many people there as possible.

“Callan had the opinion that artwork is yours, not a lecturer’s or critics’. His input into helping younger artists, taking them under his wing and nurturing them along was beautiful to see.”

CALLANart is on at Dudley House from May 12 to 14 from 10am to 5pm.