12 Apr Taking time to reflect: A visit to the ‘Knife Angel’ in Coventry
Written by Alesha, Vedhasa, Siah, and Kim, Year 7 student reporters
In March 2019, a group of pupils from Whitley Academy went on an inspirational trip to see Coventry’s popular visitor, the ‘Knife Angel’.
We felt privileged to be chosen by Miss Daniel to go to the city centre to have a look at the new visitor, and as soon as we arrived, we headed straight for Coventry Cathedral, where the Angel had been erected. It was a powerful moment for us all to stand in front of the sculpture together. The angel was 27ft tall, and had been made of over 100,000 knives, collected from 43 police forces around the U.K. The more we looked at it, the more we began to realise the look of sorrow and pain in it’s face.
Do you know that…
The Knife Angel was created by The British Ironwork Centre and sculptor Alfie Bradley in Oswestry, Shropshire in 2017.
The Knife Angel’s official name is: ‘the National Monument Against Violence and Aggression’.
30% of the knives used in the sculpture were bloodied on arrival and came in bio-hazard bags.
More than 80 of the Angel’s knife blade wings are engraved with personal messages from families affected by knife crimes.
The third leg of the Knife Angel’s tour of the U.K is Coventry city, where the Angel is on display from 14th March 2019 to 23rd April 2019.
We all stood still, staring at the Angel with a lot of emotions running through our minds. The very sad face and the rusty, sharp blades of the knives was a stark reminder of the on-going suffering of victims of knife crime.
“Non-violence is a powerful and just weapon, which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it. It is a sword that heals.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
The second part of our visit to the city centre was the Cathedral, more specifically, to appreciate the artworks inside. The ‘new’ Cathedral was itself an inspiration to many fine artists of the post-war era. The architect, Sir Basil Spence, commissioned work from Graham Sutherland, John Piper, Ralph Beyer, John Hutton, Jacob Epstein, Elisabeth Frink and others.
One of the amazing artworks we saw was the ‘Christ in Glory’ tapestry. Graham Vivian Sutherland, who was well known for his beautiful portraits, designed the tapestry for the Cathedral. It took roughly three years to complete, has about 900 colours, and once was the largest tapestry in the world.
We were also amazed to hear that the Spire at the Coventry Cathedral is about 90m tall, making it the tallest spire in the city of Coventry, and the third tallest in the whole of England!
After the amazing tour of the art, we had a chance to light a candle of respect for those who had suffered by knife crime. Choose life, drop the knife.
We hope that you have learned a little bit about how Coventry is trying to combat knife crime. Thanks for reading our blog!