The knife-designer and artist Virgil England, who lives in Anchorage/Alaska, is a visionary in several respects. As a talented artisan and smith he creates unique knife-and weapon objects which, at the same time, are perfectly interwoven with figurative allusions and details. All his works are part of the environment of a fantastic place which he calls “Het Lands”, a place sometime in the universe where an archaic civilisation is confronted with the apparition of the “Seth Daemon”.
But also actual antique eras inspired him to these fantastic ideas and to exactly these pieces of work.
In 2004, he designed the “Empire Sword”, a series of Yatagan swords with reference to the powerful ancient Iranian kingdom of the Achaemenidic kings Cyrus and Darius, approximately 2600 years ago.
Since the 1970’s, Virgil England worked as a knife maker and started to increase his interest in intricate, multipartited projects of art. However, he never abandoned the knife blade. The famous American Damast smith, Daryl Meier, delivered the material for Virgil England’s blades. Now, for the first time, Virgil England will be introduced in a “personal show“. This was only possible through the generous loans of collectors of his works from the USA and also from Germany.
About 45 works by Virgil England – knives, swords, daggers, axes, a helmet, a shield and pieces of jewellery – were put together in a collection by the German Blade Museum, additionally, sketches and detailed drafts in colour can be seen.
“I wanted something that used the techniques of the past but allowed me to skew the civilization and its history to fit my scenario. The result was the creation of the “Het Lands”, a place sometime in the universe where an archaic civilization is faced with the appearance on their world of the “Seth Daemon”.
From the beginning the purpose has been to make real items, not movie props. The pieces are made utilizing techniques that were being used in ancient armouries on our own world. (The history may be fabrication but the physics are not.) Everything is hand made. Whether it is steel or woven fabric care is taken that each piece is a one-of-a kind item. With the assistance of fellow artisans in woodcarving, glass blowing, potting and weaving I continue to flesh out the history of the “Het Lands” with items of everyday life.” (Virgil England)
Thursday 10 June 2010 at 12.00 pm at the German Blade Museum in Solingen. Virgil England will be present.
Friday 11 June 2010 at 6.00 pm