Born in Thurlow, Elisabeth Frink spent her childhood in rural Suffolk, and subsequently developed an inherent affection for animals and wildlife. This thoroughly informed Frink’s artistic career as a sculptor and printmaker, as well as a fascination for human nature and form.
She studied at the Guildford School of Art (1946-49), under Willi Soukop, and at the Chelsea School of Art (1949-53). Frink was part of a postwar group of British sculptors, dubbed the Geometry of Fear School – that included Reg Butler, Bernard Meadows, Kenneth Armitage and Eduardo Paolozzi.
The Royal Academy hosted a retrospective for Frink in 1982, in the same year that a Catalogue Raisonné was published. The show was a success and the following year Frink’s work was celebrated with four solo exhibitions and several group shows. Elisabeth Frink produced a vast portfolio, both for such exhibitions and for commissions.
Having been elected a full Academician at the Royal Academy in 1979, there were moves to make the 54-year-old sculptor the first female President of the Academy; Frink however did not want the post and it went instead to Roger de Grey. Her final work, Risen Christ, a sculpture made for Liverpool Cathedral, is emblematic of her powerful spirit and devotion to her art – having completed the monumental sculpture during a battle with cancer. Frink’s work can now be found in a number of public institutions and due to a renewed interest in modern British sculpture making her works more popular than ever.