Without a doubt the star attraction of the National Ironworks Centre is the “National Monument Against Violence and Aggression,” more commonly known as the “Knife Angel.” It’s a towering, poignant tribute to the lives lost to knife violence.
The Knife Angel stands 27 feet tall and is made of over 100,000 knives. Thirty percent of the knives used in the sculpture were bloodied on arrival and came in biohazard bags.
The National Ironworks Centre is situated just outside the Shropshire town of Oswestry, England. Various sculptures are placed around the park surrounding the visitor’s center. Guests are treated to a delight of film creatures and mythologies, or they can even go on a metalwork safari culminating in a caged gorilla made from 40,000 spoons. The idea to create the powerful artwork arose after the center’s famous Spoon Gorilla was unveiled. The Ironworks team decided to construct the sculpture to raise awareness about knife crime.
As part of a project called “Save a Life, Surrender your Knife,” the center organized more than 40 amnesties and 200 knife banks at its own cost. Alfie Bradley, the artist, disinfected and blunted the weapons before welding them to form the angel. Families of those lost to knife violence can engrave a message onto one of the sculpture’s many thousands of blades.