Blunt Blades – police-confiscated knives become art 

09/12/2021

 

Blunt Blades – police-confiscated knives become art 

09/12/2021

Share To:

Back to news

Article

Blunt Blades is a new exhibition at The Higgins, Bedford, which recycles police-confiscated knives into art.

The concept has been eight years in development by Arabel Lebrusan, an ethical jeweller who was inspired to complete this project when Bedfordshire Police presented her with three crates of confiscated knives and other sharp artefacts back in October 2013.

The exhibition consists of 275 rings cast in metal recycled from the confiscated weapons. The bands represent the number of knife homicides in England and Wales from 2019 to 2020. They are also created in shapes and sizes that symbolise the percentage of deaths that were men, women, and children.

This poignant visual work ties into Blunt Blades Exchange, a socially engaging art project organised by Lebrusan earlier in 2021. The programme saw more of the police-confiscated knives repurposed into rings, then gifted to nine women whose lives have been changed irrevocably by knife crime.

Through a series of conversations, Arabel and the participants explored the meanings and associations of the rings, working together to personalise them with designs that draw primarily on themes of healing and empowerment.

Arabel was a fomer studio holder at Bedford Creative Arts and BCA has encouraged her to deliver this amazing project especially through the difficulties brought about through the pandemic.

Hosted by The Higgins Museum, Bedford, the display functions to interrogate whether an object’s meaning can be re-established through material transformation and contextualisation.

The show presents seven new works in a variety of mediums, including photography, audio, sculpture and, of course, jewellery.

The project was supported by the Women’s Support Centre Surrey and Quiet Down There, a not-for-profit organisation that encourages individuals to articulate their unique cultures through artistic mediums. Like the Blunt Blades exhibition, Blunt Blades Exchange questions the meanings associated with a material and explores what happens to those narratives when the material itself is transformed.

“Objects have the potential to hold memories. I’m fascinated by this idea that matter can vibrate, communicating with us as human beings; with the ways materials carry inherent meanings and how those meanings can be reshaped,” Lebrusan explains.

“Since the day I received the confiscated knives eight years ago, my mind has been occupied with the idea of transforming the metal from these objects into works that could evoke other emotions. What makes a kitchen knife become a deadly weapon? What makes a deadly weapon become a one-of-a-kind jewel? What makes that one-of-a-kind jewel become a trophy or a tool for healing?”

Blunt Blades is now open to view in person and online until October 2022.

To find out more here is a video about the project.

Image courtesy of Arabel Lebrusan.

Latest News

The Culture Challenge 2022 Plan

10 Jan 2022

We’d appreciate if you would share this widely among local educators and your own networks: For teachers, youth leaders and homeschoolers, planning something different to enhance well-being and skills in your learners in 2022, research from the Cultural Learning Alliance shows that young people (and all of us!) really benefit from cultural engagement. To help

Why not sign up to our newsletter?

4 Jan 2022

There is always lots happening at Bedford Creative Arts (BCA), from street art to dance performances, and from airships to screen printing. If it is arts based then we will be there! With a new year ahead and lots of new and exciting projects lined up, why not sign up to our newsletter to find

Blunt Blades – police-confiscated knives become art 

9 Dec 2021

Blunt Blades is a new exhibition at The Higgins, Bedford, which recycles police-confiscated knives into art. The concept has been eight years in development by Arabel Lebrusan, an ethical jeweller who was inspired to complete this project when Bedfordshire Police presented her with three crates of confiscated knives and other sharp artefacts back in October 2013. The exhibition consists of 275 rings