Designed by: Nick Stathopoulos
Laser etching by: Lewis Morley
(Incorporating Aussiecon 4 logo by Grant Gittus)
Photo: Nick Stathopoulos
After a recent trip to Europe, I fell in love with the flowing Art Nouveau entrances to the Paris Metro. They were asymmetrical and had developed a luscious green patina over the years, which enhanced their organic nature. An organic Art Nouveau Hugo… hmmm.
Although there are numerous Art Deco Hugo bases, no one had ever attempted an Art Nouveau Hugo…but how to make it Australian? Harder still, how to include Aboriginal mythological constructs without appropriating actual indigenous designs? The answer lay with William Ricketts (1898-1993), a Victorian sculptor of the arts and crafts movement, who blended European mythology with indigenous spirituality and transposed then onto the Australian landscape.
The sculpture design is based on an Aboriginal creation myth about the Rainbow Serpent. It coiled around a falling star, and plummeted into the earth creating a huge crater. As the Rainbow Serpent slithered deep underground, it formed the rivers, from which all life; plants, animals, birds, reptiles — and man — was spawned.
The crater in which the Hugo Rocket stands is surrounded with various native plants and creatures; a kangaroo paw, various eucalypt leaves and pods, a platypus, and budgerigar. The young Aboriginal child symbolizes man’s infinite capacity for imagination, and the universal yearning for something beyond ourselves.