A painting, inspired by the arrival of the Knife Angel sculpture in Coventry, has gone on display at a city gallery.
Knife Angel, by local artist Andy Taylor, will be on show at the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum until Sunday, May 26, before it moves to a permanent home at the Community Fire Station.
While it is on display at the Herbert, visitors are asked to leave messages about what the painting, and the sculpture it was inspired by, means to them.
Already, hundreds of people have been to see the work of art and left their thoughts on postcards provided by the Herbert.
Andy, who is self-taught and has only been painting for 18 months said: “I wanted to create a legacy piece that commemorated the Knife Angel’s short stay in Coventry. I enjoy the mindfulness that art brings and hope that my painting will help further the awareness of knife crime.”
Francis Ranford, Cultural & Creative Director at the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, said: “We are very pleased to host this wonderful painting by Andy Taylor for the next couple of weeks.”
“The sculpture itself has proven to be a very emotive piece of art that has impacted the many visitors who have been to the Cathedral to see it.
“We have received some very thoughtful responses from our visitors so far. One said that the artwork is a ‘sombre reminder of knife crime but also shows hope for the future and the bigger picture’.
“A 23-year old commenter thinks the Knife Angel stands for ‘a rise against crime but in a peaceful way’.
“We are collecting all of the responses. These will then go into the Coventry Archives as reminder to future generations as to why the Knife Angel was brought to the city.”
The 27-foot high Knife Angel is made from 100,000 confiscated knives. It was created by artist Alfie Bradley as employed and commissioned by the British Ironwork Centre in Oswestry, Shropshire, and is currently standing at Coventry Cathedral where it will stand until May 7 as a physical reminder of the effects of violence and aggression.
It took four years to build the Knife Angel after permission was granted by the Home Office to British Ironwork Centre to collect the weapons at knife banks from police force areas across the country.
The Knife Angel’s time in Coventry has been supported by West Midlands Police, Coventry Cathedral, Coventry City of Culture Trust, Coventry City Council, Positive Youth Foundation, Medwell Hyde, Deeley Group, Norman Hay, WM Housing Group, Wasps, Absolute Services Group, National Express, Buckingham Group Contracting, Cadent Gas, The Coventry and Saltem Ltd.
The City of Culture Trust and Positive Youth Foundation are also asking young people in the city to produce their own responses to the Knife Angel being in Coventry.
The Trust is looking for creative, imaginative films which demonstrate how young people can make a positive difference. Young people might express their ideas through film, comedy, animation, spoken word, music or just a simple message. They should be no longer than two minutes and can be anonymous if requested.
Young people can send their films direct to firstname.lastname@example.org or WhatsApp it to 07765 788249. Teachers and group leaders can collate the responses for collection.