In 2015, a British artist, Alfie Bradley, created a “knife angel” sculpture made out of 100,000 knives seized by police or handed to them as part of the ongoing knife amnesty project in the UK.
The large-scale statue, 24-feet tall, was displayed in London’s Trafalgar Square in 2016, and then toured all across the country.
In an effort to encourage those who wanted to distance themselves from violent crime, there was amnesty granted in the UK to those who hand in weapons to the police on designated days.
Bradley’s sculpture is made of these collected weapons, as well as those seized in the course of fighting crime.
“It’s an enormous task,” Bradley told the Guardian then. “We are liaising with 43 police forces. Most people will only see the finished project but they won’t see the enormous work that goes in to take these thousands of weapons off the streets. We see huge theatrical weapons, like machetes and samurai swords, which come over for the gift market but end up on our streets,” he explained.
About Alfie Bradley
Alfie was born in SE London in 1990 but at the age of three moved to rural France, where his parents and two younger brothers still live.
He spent two years at lycée in central France studying stone carving and a further year on the borders of Germany at a lycée specialising in sculpting, before leaving France for England in 2013 to look for work as a stone mason.
A bizarre twist of fate found him staying in Oswestry where he worked making bee hives for a while before being offered the newly created position of resident sculptor at the British Ironworks where he worked until July 2016 before deciding to go self-employed so that he could spend more time in France where he also has a workshop.
During his time at the British Ironworks Centre he created many impressive sculptures, from a RHINO’s HEAD which sits in the foyer of DEFRA in London, to the internationally famous SPOON GORILLA – a 4m high sculpture made entirely of 40,000 welded spoons.
After the ‘KNIFE ANGEL’, his most ambitious project is the 25ft high and made of over 100,000 weapons which have been surrendered to knife bins in amnesties around the country.