Winged Victory

PROJECT DATE : 02ND OCT 2019
project
Winged Victory
client
Marrickville Council / Australian War Memorial
services
Sculpture Conservation / Object Conservation

- AWARD WINNING -

Winged Victory

Gilbert Doble’s ‘Winged Victory’ is an elegant sculpture of Nike, the Winged Goddess of Victory. With a laurel leaf in one hand, a sword raised in triumph in the other, it was created for the top of the Marrickville Soldiers’ Memorial, which was unveiled in 1919 in honour of 458 local soldiers who had died during World War I.

Condition issues

The hollow sculpture was formed from thin copper alloy sheeting, and as a result, soon became quite unstable. By 1962 its condition had deteriorated so badly that it had to be taken down. Although it was restored and returned to the Memorial in 1988, continued instability saw it removed a second time in 2008. Eventually, in 2013 Marrickville Council commissioned a new sculpture for the Memorial and endorsed the transfer of Dobel’s original to the Australian War Memorial (AWM) in Canberra.

Treatment

ICS have been involved with assessing the condition of the sculpture for the last 8 years. When it became clear that it could no longer withstand the rigours of outdoor exhibition, ICS worked with Marrickville Council to develop a brief for its replacement. We then conserved the original components of the sculpture on behalf of the AWM after it passed into their ownership. This involved very carefully separating the original upper half from later restorations, painstaking repairs to make it stable, and time-consuming removal of overpaint to reveal its original patina. We then oversaw its transfer to Canberra, where it has now become the focal point of the AWM’s new First World War Galleries.

New sculpture

The new sculpture, created by artists Peter Corlett and Darien Pullen, was unveiled in April 2015. It pays homage to Dobel’s original but with some subtle changes. In particular, the position of the sword was changed from being raised in triumph to pointing down to earth. This has stopped it from acting as a lightning rod, which we discovered was a significant cause of the damage that had afflicted the original. So Doble’s legacy lives on, both in original form at the AWM, and in reinterpreted form in its original location, and the citizens of Marrickville once again have a focal point to honour their local war heroes.

 

For more information

  • Read the blog post ‘Winged Victory rises again’ by Julian Bickersteth
  • Watch the You Tube video ‘Winged Victory – a journey through time’ posted by Marrickville Council (Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FgOAflY27vs)

project
Winged Victory
client
Marrickville Council / Australian War Memorial
services
Sculpture Conservation / Object Conservation
Before Treatment
After Treatment

More Projects Like This One

Sydney Harbour Bridge Cranes

- AWARD WINNING - The Sydney Harbour Bridge is one of Australia's most significant landmarks, and one of the most readily recognised symbols of Sydney. Officially opened in 1932, a distinctive feature of the Sydney Harbour Bridge's profile since this time has been the four painting and maintenance cranes. The original cranes, designed in 1929 and decommissioned in 1997, were in...

Central Station Melocco Room

- AWARD WINNING - Short Project Description A fire at Central Station was the impetus for conservation restoration to this marvellous mid-century Melocco Brothers artwork. The impressive wrap-around wall relief depicts the history of transportation above travertine walling and a...

Royal Botanical Gardens Statuory

Birdwood Flag