REMEMBRANCE DAY: Special sculpture of World War One soldier on display at Mansfield Civic Centre

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A sculpture of a World War One soldier has gone on display in Mansfield’s Civic Centre in the run-up to Remembrance Day.

Figurative and portrait sculptor Ben Anthoney, 20, of Mansfield Woodhouse, designed and created the infantry soldier in memory of all British soldiers who have lost their lives in conflicts.

The bust, which is not based on a specific individual, is made from oil-based clay and is on display in a glass case in the Civic Centre mall for members of the public to see until November 20.

It took Ben six hours a day for almost two weeks to create the sculpture, which is made from about 18lb of clay. Although he specialises in sculptures of people from portraits, he has also created animals including a fox and eagle and contemporary sculptures.

He said: “When I was about nine I started making soldier figurines and army tanks out of Blu Tack and it’s developed from there. It’s my passion and it feels great when you have created something out of nothing. It’s an honour to have it on display at the Civic Centre where more people will get the opportunity to see it.”

Ben, who is a former pupil of the Manor School, studied for qualifications in public service followed by painting and decorating at West Notts College, but now wants to focus on his sculpting business, Ben Anthoney Sculptures.

The young artist has had no formal training and has taught himself various techniques from seeing what other sculptors do. He currently uses his bedroom at home as a studio but is on the look-out for more suitable premises.

The Executive Mayor of Mansfield, Kate Allsop, said: “We are thrilled to have been loaned this fantastic sculpture by a very talented artist to put on display in the run-up to Remembrance Day. It is a great tribute to our fallen as we continue to mark the centenary of the First World War. The Poppy Appeal launches nationally on 22 October and hopefully this piece of art will inspire people to donate to the very worthy cause.”