ART AGAINST KNIVES was born from the unprovoked stabbing of Oliver Hemsley, a 21-year-old student from Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design in 2008, which left him in a wheelchair.
It started with an exhibition organised by Oliver’s friends and fellow Central Saint Martins’ students to raise money and awareness a year after he was attacked. The event gained support from some of the biggest names in art and fashion with work donated by Antony Gormley, Banksy, Rankin, Tracey Emin and Wolfgang Tillmans amongst others.
We wanted to channel this support into action, addressing the root causes of knife crime by listening to young people and putting them in the lead. In 2011 we registered as a charity and started running creative community projects with young people, involving them in creating solutions to the problems they face and through this, preventing them from becoming victims of violent crime. In just 7 years we’ve engaged, listened to and supported over 1200 young people at risk violent crime in London.