Dame Elisabeth Frink was born in Thurlow, Suffolk, in 1930. She studied at Guildford School of Art (1947-49) and Chelsea School of Art, London (1949-53). She taught at Chelsea School of Art (1953-61), St Martin's School of Art (1954-62) and was visiting lecturer at the Royal College of Art (1965-67). Dame Elisabeth Frink unfortunately died in 1993.
As one of Britain's leading sculptors, Frink was awarded Honorary Doctorates by the University of Surrey (1977), Open University (1983), University of Warwick (1983), University of Cambridge (1988), University of Exeter (1988), University of Oxford (1989) and University of Keele (1989). She also received official recognition, being awarded the CBE in 1969, and in 1982 she was created Dame of the British Empire. Over the course of her career Frink exhibited widely both in Britain and internationally.
Dame Elisabeth Frink was an English sculptor and printmaker. She was linked with the post-war school of British sculptors, including Reg Butler, Bernard Meadows and Eduardo Paolozzi, though her work is differentiated by her devotion to themes associated with nature. Working mainly with bronze to make outdoor sculpture with a characteristic scarred surface Frink often depicted the male form, birds, dogs and horses. This surface was achieved by repeatedly coating an armature with wet plaster and distressing each coating in order to eliminate detail. In the 1960's Frink continued her obsession with flight in a series of falling figures and winged men. While living in France from 1967 to 1970, she began a series of threatening, monumental, goggled male heads. On returning to England, she focused on the male nude, barrel-chested, with mask-like features, attenuated limbs and a pitted surface. Frink's sculpture, and her lithographs and etchings created as book illustrations, drew on archetypes expressing masculine strength, struggle and aggression. Her figurative sculptures possess dignity, mystery and a simplicity of form and a nonchalant, dislocated focus, whilst her animal depictions illustrate a deep sympathy for their existence, for she encapsulates their innate and individual characteristics. Frink's drawing and graphic works followed the same themes, being executed with the economy of means and feeling for surface texture that is to be found in her three-dimensional work.