A Real Birmingham Family is a public artwork and sculpture by Gillian Wearing, cast in bronze, and erected in Centenary Square, outside the Library of Birmingham, England, on 30 October 2014.
It depicts two local sisters, each single mothers, Roma and Emma Jones, with their two children; Roma's son Kyan and Emma's son Shaye. Emma is depicted as pregnant with a second son, Isaac, who was born before the sculpture was unveiled. A small plaque laid on the ground in front of the work describes it.
In a process begun in 2011, and coordinated by the city's Ikon Gallery, nominations for a "real" local family to model for the sculpture were invited. The Joneses were selected from a shortlist, by an independent panel, in August 2013.
I really liked how Roma and Emma Jones spoke of their closeness as sisters and how they supported each other. It seemed a very strong bond, one of friendship and family, and the sculpture puts across that connectedness between them. A nuclear family is one reality but it is one of many and this work celebrates the idea that what constitutes a family should not be fixed.
The £100,000 cost of the work was covered by a combination of public money and private donations. The casting was carried out in China. The project follows Wearing's 2008 work, A Typical Trentino Family.
In November 2014 shortly after being unveiled new Fathers for justice activist Bobby Smith covered the statue with a white sheet and pictures of his own 2 daughters.