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Lives Lived

Andrew Mackenzie Hull Add to ...

Son, brother, uncle, companion, friend, architect, writer, filmmaker. Born Aug. 15, 1963, in Oshawa, Ont. Died May 8 in London of a head injury, aged 46.

Andrew Hull was a man of grace and joy - playful, daring and startlingly original. His tragic and sudden death after a fall from his bicycle was shattering and heartbreaking news to the many who loved him. To know Andrew was to feel love.

When he was in Grade 3, he came home from school with a drawing he had made of the detailed workings of a mining production - what happened with the ore from beginning to end. His father and mother were astounded and proudly hung it on the wall.

He studied architecture at Carleton University. In his final year, he entered an International Student Design Competition. His imaginative, unconventional installation elicited excitement from the judges and won Andrew first prize. But by this time his passion had shifted to filmmaking. He applied for an Ontario Arts Council grant to study at the Bauhaus in Dessau, Germany. There, in 1994, he wrote and directed a film called Earworm that examined the ramifications of the new Germany in a story about addicts under the influence of techno music.

Andrew could and did see God in a blade of glass. He was crazy about music. When he worked on film sets his desk would turn into the office DJ booth. He was good at so many things. He could come up with a graphic design concept, then build it. He was always calm in the storm, and rightly confident in his competence. If something or someone interested him, he pursued it.

Although a city boy, he was happiest in the wilderness sitting on a rock and staring at everything around him. He was an expert canoeist and master cook.

While deeply concerned about the destruction of the natural world, one of his prized possessions was an ancient gold Mercedes station wagon. He cared deeply about the serious issues but loved to dance and was a snappy dresser. Almost impossibly handsome, he had perfect manners and was tremendously supportive of those he loved.

Andrew was good at play and he encouraged those around him to join him. He was devoted to his friends and family. In the fall of 2008, he relocated from Toronto to London to live with his long-time companion, Shaan Syed. He shared a loving, flowering and creative union with Shaan, in whose arms he died.

Sadly, Andrew had just completed production on his first feature film, Siren. The months he spent filming and directing in Tunisia were among his happiest.

To those who knew Andrew, he lives on as a constant inspiration, reminding us that life is a very beautiful thing and we have an obligation to enjoy each moment.

By Margot Finley, Andrew's mother; Nicholas Brinckman, Andrew's friend; and Susan Hull, Andrew's sister.

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