Michael Lyons was born in Bilston, Staffordshire in 1943 and was educated at Cotton College, North Staffordshire before completing his education at Wolverhampton College of Art (1959-63) Hornsey College of Art (1963-64) and the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne (1964 -7). Michael Lyons lives and works in Yorkshire.
Michael Lyons has had solo and group exhibitions internationally that have included: New School House Gallery; Leeds Art Gallery; One Canada Square and Jubilee Gardens; Yorkshire Sculpture Park; New School House Gallery; Macay Museo de Arte Contemporaneo; London Art Fair; 5th Beijing International Art Biennale; Royal British Society of Sculptors; DLI Museum and Durham Art Gallery; Whitworth Art Gallery.
Throughout his career, Lyons has won various accolades. In 1966, he featured in The Young Contemporaries in London and won a Peter Stuyvesant Prize at the 1967 Northern Young Contemporaries in Manchester. He was named Vice-President of the Royal British Society of Sculptors in 1994, remaining in this post until 1997, going on to hold a 20 Year Survey show in 1998 at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park (of which he was a Founding Member). While working at the Li Gang Bronze Foundry in Beijing in 2003, he won the Yuzi Prize (1st prize) at the 1st Guilin Yuzi Paradise Sculpture Awards. In 2006 he won the Premio Fondo Nacional de las Artes at Chaco Biennale, Argentina.
Lyons works range from small scale and medium pieces to monumental works, and since the late 90's he has expanded his use of materials to include brass, bronze, clay, copper and stainless steel. In some cases he combines more than one material in a single work or related groups. His exploration of steel has further developed since first visiting Mexico in 2004, and attending the XIII Symposium of Stainless Steel Sculpture in Tultepec. Lyons has created many monumental works in this medium, which has been used in a direct, almost organic manner, making use of light to activate the surface. The festivals, culture and exotic nature of Mexico have had a profound affect on his work.
The formal strength of his sculpture is complemented by references to many sources: landscape, the forces of nature, art history, and mythology - and possess sensitivity to place and setting. Lyons has produced numerous hand sized sculptures in wax and clay, which can be translated into large scale works in steel or bronze or exist as small sculptures in their own right. His monumental works retain a scale relevant to the human being - they do not overpower, but attempt to provide an experience of grandeur tempered by humanity. In some works like the huge constructed copper Lake Afire, (Hangzhou Government 2000), the spectator can enter the work, which provides a bridge between sculpture, architecture and environment, while resonating with poetic reference.