Vic Marden's horseshoe nail sculpture of golden soldiers created to mark centenary of armistice

RESPECT: Tanilba Bay artist Vic Marden with his horseshoe nail sculpture at Tilligerry Art Gallery. Each of the 34 soldiers is made using seven horseshoe nails.
RESPECT: Tanilba Bay artist Vic Marden with his horseshoe nail sculpture at Tilligerry Art Gallery. Each of the 34 soldiers is made using seven horseshoe nails.

Thirty-four gold-glossed soldiers made from horseshoe nails, crafted by Tanilba Bay resident Vic Marden to mark the centenary of armistice, is now on show in Tilligerry Art Gallery.

The horseshoe nail sculpture aims to honour the sacrifice and service of Australia’s servicemen and women in WWI, and to promote appreciation and understanding of the role those who service have played in shaping the nation.

“The reason for building this memorial goes back to my mother,” Mr Marden said.

“My mother had a cousin who served in WWI. When he went off to fight, he carried my mother on his shoulders on his way to Bognor Regis train station [United Kingdom].

“He put my mother down and said good bye to all his family only to never return. I also saw a lot of wounded servicemen during the war, as an 11 year old, I felt so sorry for them and it left a lasting impression on me.

“This memorial is in memory of all the events I witnesses as a school boy during WWII.”

Mr Marden has been making gold and chrome-plated kangaroos since 2005. He was inspired by a horseshoe nail sculpture his daughter and son-in-law sent him from the United States.

“I looked at the way the nails had been fashioned to forma rodeo cowboy mounted on a horseshoe base,” he said.

“I adapted this to come up with a kangaroo design, which holds a ball point pen.”

Mr Marden’s other designs include necklaces and tealight candle holders but he said his proudest design is his soldiers.

There are 34 soldiers in the display, which is mounted to a board. Each soldier contains seven horseshoe nails that are bronze welded. The soldiers are coated with gold gloss lacquer.

Made from horseshoe nails

Made from horseshoe nails

The gun and cross in the display are coated with pearly black nickle satin.

The brass screws and stainless steel washers used to make the soldiers’ hats were donated.

It will be on show at Tilligerry Art Gallery in Lemon Tree Passage until December 2.

The sculpture will take a day trip to MarketPlace Raymond Terrace on Sunday where the Christmas parade and Show n Shine in support of Newcastle Legacy will be held from 10am.

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