Knife Angel made up of thousands of surrendered blades arrives in Sunderland

The Knife Angel, which is made up of thousands of surrendered blades, has arrived in Sunderland.

Made up of 100,000 blades, and standing 27 feet tall, the impressive sculpture was installed in Keel Square on Friday afternoon where it will stay throughout June. It is hoped the angel will encourage open discussions about the dangers of carrying knives and their potential consequences.

As part of the display, the Connor Brown Trust will be running various workshops in classrooms and youth groups warning young people of the dangers of knife crime, as well as making sure they know what to do and where to go if they need help or advice if they or someone they know is carrying a knife.

Tanya and Simon Brown
Tanya and Simon Brown, whose son Connor was stabbed to death in Sunderland -Credit:Iain Buist/Newcastle Chronicle

Connor's mum and dad Tanya and Simon Brown attended the event in the city centre. Speaking to ChronicleLive, Tanya said: "The Knife Angel is a mark of respect to all victims of knife crime. It's touring around the UK and visiting many cities and we are so proud and honoured to have it visit our city. We hope that it brings a little bit of social change, just by having that visual impact."

Simon added: "We saw the Knife Angel in Teesside and Gateshead and we had the conversation and said we should try and bring it to Sunderland. It's taken about two and a half years of hard work and we just hope people can come down to see it, bring young people with them and bring out that conversation about how important it is to not carry knives."

The Knife Angel arrives in Sunderland
The Knife Angel arrives in Sunderland -Credit:Ben Cuthbertson

Connor was only 18 years old when he was killed in an alleyway in Sunderland city centre on February 24, 2019. He had been stabbed five times, by Leighton Barrass, who was later jailed for life after being convicted of his murder at Newcastle Crown Court. Barrass’ co-accused, Ally Gordon was found guilty of manslaughter and handed a prison sentence of three years and six months.

Created by artist Alfie Bradley, the sculpture is made up of blades handed in during amnesties held by police forces across the country, after which they were sterilised and blunted. The angel began it’s tour around the UK in 2018 when it was housed outside of LIverpool Cathedral for December and January in order to raise awareness of the impact of knife crime on society, the victims and their families and friends.