The Knife Angel (Also referred to as the National Monument Against Violence & Aggression) is a contemporary sculpture formed of 100,000 knives created by artist Alfie Bradley and the British Ironworks Centre, based in Oswestry, England.
Completed in 2018, the structure of the angel stands at 27 ft (8.2 m) tall. In order to create the sculpture, 200 knife banks were produced by the Ironworks and amnesties held for individuals to anonymously donate their knives. Knives seized by police were also included, with many arriving in evidence tubes. Approximately 30% of knives used in the angel arrived with bodily fluids on their surface.
The sculpture was created in order to highlight knife crime in the United Kingdom and educate young people of the harmful effect violent behaviour can have on their communities.
Once the knives were delivered to the British Ironworks Centre in Oswestry, Shropshire, each one was disinfected before being blunted. The knives were then welded onto an existing steel frame. Knives were then welded onto steel plates to form the wings of the angel, in order to give them a feather-like appearance.
Families who lost loved ones as a result of knife crime were invited to have a message engraved onto a blade used in the sculpture. Over 80 families contacted the artist in order to engrave a personal message on a blade used in the wings.
Following the completion of the sculpture in 2018 it began a nationwide tour in order to highlight the anti-violence message behind its construction.
The first stop on the Knife Angel’s tour was in the city of Liverpool, which was achieved with the support of Merseyside Police, Liverpool City Council, and Everton Football Club. The sculpture was based in Liverpool Anglican Cathedral and saw approximately 250,000 visitors during its stay in the city.
The sculpture was then moved to the city of Hull where it was on display for a month in Queen’s Gardens. The structure was brought to the city as part of Humberside Police’s “#NoMoreKnives” incentive.