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Articles

Humania

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"Hugh McSpeddon is a lighting and projection artist who has been involved with lighting for new music, dance, artists and festivals since 1968.   A pioneer of outdoor projection in Australia, Hugh uses projections as a musician uses an instrument or a painter a palette, utilizing lasers, slides, fluids and special effects to create unique images. He uses as his canvas, surfaces as diverse as buildings, landscapes and beaches."  Taken from Hugh McSpeddon's records.

He developed creative real-time effects projection techniques in the sixties.  He provided music shows for such greats as John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers, Tangerine Dream, The Monkees and Daddy Cool under the name of Edison Light Co and Giant Edison Screw. In 1991 he was commissioned to design and produce effects for the musical production of 'Hair'.  In 1994 he produced the lights for Kavisha Mazzella's concert in Warrandyte.  Just over a month ago, he provided the lighting for a concert of contemporary music at Montsalvat which involved poet and musician August Skipper.

For his ground breaking large-scale outdoor projections, Hugh modified archaic old carbon-arc cinema projectors as there were no high powered slide projectors in Aust at that time. His much-copied polka-dot designs first covered the Exhibition Buildings in Melbourne in 1983, and were then repeated on the Melbourne Town Hall, South Melb, Fitzroy, North Melb, Port Melb and St Kilda Town Halls.

The following three images (from Hugh's personal album), show parts of his light show, projected onto the Brooklyn Arts Hotel at the 2010 Gertrude Street Projection Festival.

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Along side this work, Hugh developed a passion for foundary patterns.  He sought them everywhere.  They are now stored in what he affectionately calls his bunker on his property at Warrandyte.  They are also dotted around his home either as sculptures and clocks or awaiting a creative use.  When I asked what's next he said that he's been playing with ideas to create... "simple, bold, rough forms painted in satin black and matte white. So that's a NEXT project."

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Photograph provided by Hugh McSpeddon

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Photograph provided by Hugh McSpeddon

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Photograph provided by Hugh McSpeddon.

This sculpture (which sits in Hugh's garden) has been fashioned from a discarded skiff.

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Locals know Hugh well from his distinctive yellow and red "Noddy" car.

My thanks to Hugh for inviting me into his home and allowing me to use some of his photos.  

He operates under the name Humania and can be contacted on 0431 562 676.

 

Parent Category: Arts

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