We hear awful things about gun crime in the USA, which is really worrying. In the UK we don’t have gun crime on the same scale because we do not have the right to own or carry guns thankfully.
However, knife crime is a serious problem here with even quite young teenagers taking knives out with them for ‘protection’. The consequences for many young people and their families are tragic.
The government, police forces and traders have been working together to tackle the issue in many ways. One of the ideas was an amnesty on knives that were handed in or placed in ‘surrender boxes’. These are secure boxes that are placed in police stations and YMCAs amongst other places.
Recently I went to see what has happened to all the knives that have been handed in so far, and I was staggered. Artist Alfie Bradley has created a 26-foot sculpture in the shape of an angel out of the 100,000 or so that were surrendered nationwide. It took him 2 years to create his memorial, which can be seen at Oswestry’s British Ironwork Centre.
The many coloured handles form the surface of the body of the angel, while the blades form the wings. I can’t describe just how moving this sculpture is, as many of the knives have actually been used in crimes. It has an expression of such tragedy on its face that it reflects the awful pain felt by those who suffer the consequences of knife crime.
The Knife Angel will be travelling around the country eventually to be displayed in other towns, but for now it is a thought-provoking entrance to the amazing artwork on show at the British Ironwork Centre.
I can recommend spending a day at the British Ironwork Centre. It is in a beautiful, unspoilt area of the country and the displays of art and craftwork are spectacular.
Here are photos of some of the other pieces of iron art on display. All are truly beautiful, but the gorilla is very interesting because it is entirely made of spoons donated by children from many countries after an appeal by the magician Yuri Geller.