A local sculptor, famous for the bronze statue of Cilla Black on Mathew Street, has created a piece of artwork that will become a lasting legacy for a new cancer hospital.

Created by Wirral-based artist Emma Rodgers, the large metal sculpture of a tree, entitled Primavera, is situated at the new Clatterbridge Cancer Centre – Liverpool, which opened in June.

It is hoped the tree will continue to support the hospital’s charity, The Clatterbridge Cancer Charity, with supporters dedicating one of the doves that fly around the tree to a loved one. Primavera was made possible thanks to a generous donation to The Clatterbridge Cancer Charity from Liverpool health insurance company, Medicash.

The sculpture is situated in the hospital’s sunken Winter Garden and is one of several pieces of art commissioned by The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust as part of its Public Arts Strategy, which aims to support patient care and wellbeing through the arts.

These include a timeline of the trust’s history, produced by Emma and Professor Sunny Myint, a clinical oncologist at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre’s Papillion clinic and a large hanging sculpture in the hospital’s atrium by Wirral artist Leo Fitzmaurice.

Of the tree sculpture, Emma said: “My mum was treated by the team here and I have been involved for a long time as a patron of The Clatterbridge Cancer Charity. So when I was approached to commission a piece for the new hospital, I was keen that it was a legacy for the centre and something that would continue to support it for a long time to come.

“Doves symbolise hope, something that resonates with me when I think of this hospital. It’s my hope that people dedicate doves to a loved one to support the hospital and dozens of them will eventually fly around the Winter Garden.”

Deputy Director of Nursing at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre Karen Kay, has been part of an Arts Steering Group made up of patients and staff who have helped decide what works are featured in the new hospital. She said: “Over recent years, there’s been a growing understanding of how having access to art can have a positive impact on health and wellbeing and that’s something we want to support here at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre.

“The work of Emma and all the other artists involved is so inspiring and will provide our patients with a welcome distraction as well as helping to create a welcoming environment in our new hospital.”

Clatterbridge Cancer Centre

Emma Rodgers (left) and Liz Bishop, Chief Executive at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre pose in front of Primavera, in the Winter Garden of the new Clatterbridge Cancer Centre – Liverpool.

Sue Weir, CEO of Medicash, who made the sculpture possible thanks to their donation, said: “As a Liverpool-based company that focuses on the health and wellbeing of our customers, the Clatterbridge Cancer Charity was an obvious choice for us to support.

“Our donation to the Public Art Strategy is just one way we’re supporting The Clatterbridge Cancer Charity, which also includes a donation towards the outdoor terraces so patients can enjoy the fantastic views of the city. We’re really proud of our work with The Clatterbridge Cancer Charity and hope that patients benefit from both the artwork and the terraces for many years to come.”

Katrina Bury, Head of Charity at The Clatterbridge Cancer Charity added: “Building this incredible new facility to such a high standard would not have been possible without the generosity of local people and businesses like Emma and Medicash, to whom we are so grateful.

“We are delighted to recognise this support now and into the future in such a unique way; and we look forward to seeing the artwork grow, with more doves to be added through ongoing sponsorship and support for our charity.”