Rising over the rich blue of the Indian Ocean, the new Anzac Memorial at Ocean Beach RSL commemorates 100 years of service in a commanding stainless steel and printed glass structure designed by Perth Sculptors Charlie and Joan Smith.
The RSL is as much a part of Australian culture as the Anzac dawn services the League organizes each year. Having evolved as a direct result of the camaraderie, concern and mateship shown by the Diggers for the welfare of their mates during and after the first World War, RSL members now number over 220,000 in 1395 Leagues across Australia.
With the current 2014 – 2018 Anzac centenary commemorations taking place in RSL clubs around the country, The Ocean Reef RSL in Perth has created a stunning memorial arch in commemoration of the centenary, which forms a commanding presence at the club’s location 28km north of the Perth CBD.
Designed by esteemed local sculptors Charlie and Joan Smith, the memorial is comprised of a 11m x 5.5m steel arch, fitted with 13.52mm toughened laminated and digitally printed glass. The orientation of the arch takes advantage of the stunning sunsets Perth is renowned for, allowing the stainless steel and glass arch to frame the setting sun in the late afternoon and early evening hours.
As Charlie and Joan explain, ‘The Anzac 100th Memorial for Ocean Reef has been designed to incorporate the most solemn memorial design principles. The overall layout is based on the passage of light, being drawn through a Portal entrance, along a ceremonial east/west pathway into a circle composed of 100 elements, commemorating the 100 years of Anzac tradition and service. The setting sun is framed by an arch/portal carrying further symbolic images fused into glass and lettering. Within this narrative-symbolic area, significant allegorical elements are incorporated to create the central ‘sacred heart’ of the memorial, the altar.’
‘The altar is the focal point of the entire monument, and the design for this element is based upon an artillery shell, inverted in the tradition of ‘Reversed Arms’ in Catafalque ceremonial practice. It is estimated that 80% of causalities in WWI were caused by artillery and it has been ubiquitous to all modern wars. The circular stepped Altar will also provide a wreath-laying area.’
‘Soaring high over this space is an arch, symbolising a portal between the past and the future. The arch has traditionally been symbolic of military victory, but in this instance it also carries the symbolism of renewal. In ceremonial tradition, passing under an arch, is a process of leaving the past at rest and the regeneration of life. It charts the passage of the sun from dawn to dusk throughout the year but particularly on Anzac Day. It is formed of stainless steel, and incorporates photographic images manufactured as printed glass to signify 100 years of Australia’s military involvement throughout the world. The text of the ‘Ode to the Fallen’, is emblazoned on the rim along with the titles of each major military engagement of the Australian armed forces.’
The memorial was unveiled at the Consecration Ceremony on 18th of April at Ocean Reef Sea Sports Club, Ocean Reef Western Australia where the sub-branch’s oldest member and only World War II veteran, Vic Sinclair (90), read the Ode during the service. At the opening, the Indian Blue Chorus sang Amazing Grace, Abide with me, How great thou art and led the Australian and New Zealand national anthems. Speakers at the event included Moore MHR Ian Goodenough, Joondalup Mayor Troy Pickard, Anglican Reverend Paul Howells and Roman Catholic Father Dariusz Krzysztalowicz.
You can keep up to date with other amazing work from Charlie and Joan on their facebook page.
Anzac 100th Memorial, Ocean Beach, Perth
Client Smith Sculptors
Glass 13.52mm Toughened Laminate
Processing Custom Laminating, Digital Printing
Further information on the processes featured in this project can be found below: