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Art graduate hits the right note with bronze statue of pop icon, Cilla Black


Former University of Wolverhampton art student hit the right note when she created a bronze statue of Cilla Black that is now on display outside The Cavern in Liverpool.

Emma Rodgers, 42 from Wirral in the North West, studied for a Bachelor of Arts in Ceramics & Glass and a Masters Degree in Art & Design at Wolverhampton School of Art in the early 90s.

She collaborated with artist, Andy Edwards, sculpture of The Beatles on Liverpool’s riverfront, on the project, working closely with Cilla Black’s family to ensure that key aspects of her life and personality were incorporated into the sculpture – even down to the detail of her jewellery, shoes and hairstyle.


The bronze statue was unveiled in January to mark the 60th anniversary of The Cavern nightclub where Cilla regularly performed.  The bronze sculpture was funded by and donated to Liverpool by the late star’s three sons as a ‘thank you’ for the city’s support and affection after Cilla Black’s death last summer.

Emma said: “It was a real pleasure to work with the family and they gave us so much information and support.  Her sons would regularly visit the foundry throughout the stages so they would be able to advise as we went along.  Once they were happy with the sculpture it was moulded, then cast in bronze and the metal was finished.

“I’d like to thank staff at the University for their support, many of whom I am still in touch with.  We were give the support to take risks and push the boundaries with our work whilst on the Ceramics course and on into our chosen careers.

“Being part of the University has given me the spring board to continue working and diversifying in the field that I love with a passion and for that I am very grateful.” 

Dr John Pymm, Dean of the Faculty of Arts at the University of Wolverhampton, said: “Emma is a marvelous example of how our graduates go on to create world-class work.  It’s a delight to see her ability recognised in the crafting of such a renowned musician in such an iconic location.”

Emma has exhibited all over the world, including the Victoria & Albert Museum, Stricoff Fine Art in New York, the Royal Academy of Art, Collect at The Saatchi, SOFA in Chicago and New York and the Wei Ling Gallery in Kuala Lumpur amongst others.  She has also been featured in a documentary dedicated to her work on the Sky Arts Channel and has recently worked with Marvel films on the sets of Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers Age of Ultron.

Credit: Photograph of Cilla and Emma by Mike McCartney.



For more information please contact the Media Relations Office on 01902 32 2736 or 01902 518647.

Date Issued: 23rd March 2017

For more information please contact the Media Relations Office on 01902 32 2736 or 01902 518647.

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