The Bacchus Marsh RSL Sub-branch approached Wide Open Co. to submit an entry into their design competition. The brief was to create a memorial to honour all 462 First World War service personnel from Bacchus Marsh and surrounding region, whilst providing the local community with a place to honour, remember and share stories about these special individuals, as well as help to educate younger generations about the sacrifices made by people from their local community.
Wide Open Co. undertook research, spoke with stakeholders about their ideas, and explored various concepts that could create an emotive, interactive public monument that would uniquely, sensitively and boldly recognise the significant — and costly — contribution of our small town and young country. With promising concepts at hand, we sought out sculptors to develop the concepts further and make them their own.
Our search led us to Dean Bowen, internationally acclaimed, Melbourne-based artist. As fate or providence would have it, Dean discovered during the conceptual stage of the project that his great-grandfather had lived in Bacchus Marsh, served in WWI and had a tree planted in the Bacchus Marsh Avenue of Honour.