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History (revisited) (April 1 – June 30, 2021)

Andrew Bodrov

Sunrise over the Old Town of Tallinn

Robert Bilsland

History Locked in a Blade

Hereford Cathedral, Hereford, Herefordshire, England, UK

June 30, 2020, 19:05 UTC (20:05 local time)

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© 2021 Robert Bilsland, All Rights Reserved.

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Caption

With knife crime affecting people worldwide everyday artist Alfie Bradley felt he wanted to do something to raise awareness of the problem. He came up with the idea of a Knife Angel, a National Monument Against Violence and Aggression. During 2015/16 police forces across the UK held amnesties collecting confiscated and surrendered knives. It was from 100,000 of these that Alfie set about single handedly creating his 25ft, 3.5 ton sculpture at the British Ironworks Centre in Oswestry. Due to the extreme nature of the issue, he chose his sculpture to be both powerful in size and meaning. From beginning to end, it took him almost 2 years to complete.

In 2018 the sculpture started a tour around the UK taking its message with it. Unfortunately this came to an abrupt halt when the pandemic struck. Now as restrictions are being lifted the tour has started once again with it's first stop at Hereford Cathedral. While at Hereford the sculpture forms a centerpiece to a number of workshops and interactive events to raise awareness of the catastrophic impact violent crime has on individuals, families and communities.

From the photos I saw I knew I had to see it in person, standing in front of the sculpture itself was amazing on so many different levels. From far away you would marvel at it's size, outstretched hands and face showing sheer despair asking why? Why would you do this? Why have you done this? But once you get closer you see the individual knives, from flick knives to bread knives, from daggers to machetes, from meat cleavers to swords. At this point you realize each has a story to tell, has history of its own.


Equipment

Taken with a Nikon D300 and a Nikkor 10.5mm f/2.8G fisheye lens. Mounted on a Nodal Ninja 5 panoramic head and R-D16 rotator atop a Manfrotto 055XPROB tripod. 3 bracketed shots (-1 0 +1) taken at 6 positions 60° apart, tilted 15° down, another set of shots taken looking straight up. Raw files then processed in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5.7 before being blended into single views and stitched together using PTGui Pro 10.0.19 and converted using Pano2VR Pro 6.1.10.

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