For the last two years, police forces have been donating knives taken off the streets in a huge amnesty - and the sculpture they've been turned into is now almost ready. The Knife Angel, commissioned by Shropshire's British Ironwork Centre and created by artist Alfie Bradley, is 27 feet high and will contain over 100,000 knives. It's the culmination of a project called 'Save A Life, Surrender Your Knife' which aims to raise awareness of knife crime in the UK. The British Ironwork Centre - in Oswestry, Shropshire - explains:
The Angel will be the only memorial ever created with all the different Police forces and the Home Office working together; it will be the UK’s greatest monument to anti-violence and aggression ever created. Working alongside the community and families who have tragically lost loved ones to knife crime, the Centre has been astounded by the support for the project.
As of November, the artist was still awaiting knives from 6 police forces, but the Metro reports that one of those - Sussex Police - has now said it'll be donating its knives, and another - South Yorkshire - has agreed to do so as long as they're safely transported. This means the enormous statue could be finished this year, at which point it can be weighed and submitted for consideration for Trafalgar Square's famous fourth plinth.
Image: Alfie Bradley via Twitter
The plinth, which displays rotating artworks voted on by a panel, is currently showing an enormous thumbs-up by artist David Shrigley. The next set of artworks for consideration have already been shortlisted, but the Surrender Your Knife project is campaigning hard for the Knife Angel to take the spot. At once beautiful and terrifying, the Angel stands over a metre taller than the 7-metre thumbs up, and could be potentially be prohibitively heavy or dangerous for the very public space. However, Bradley's previous sculpture - a huge gorilla made of donated spoons for Uri Geller - is currently touring children's hospitals, which rather suggests the artist knows what he's doing.
There's clearly strong public support for the poignant tribute to victims of knife crime, and if it doesn't end up on the plinth, no doubt it'll go on display somewhere equally prestigious when the last batch of knives is added. Just don't close your eyes near it when it does. [Metro]
Photo: Alfie Bradley via Twitter