William Furlong was born in Woking, Surrey, in 1944. He studied at Guildford School of Art and Crafts (1960-65) and then at the Royal Academy Schools in London (1965-68). He was a visiting lecturer at Epsom School of Art, Ealing School of Art, and Wimbledon School of Art.
Notable exhibitions in the 1960s included the New Contemporaries, Tate Gallery (1967); The Northern Ireland Open and John Moore's Liverpool exhibitions, UK (1969). As a sound artist Furlong's exhibitions include; Art for Society, The Whitechapel Art Gallery (1978), The Sculpture Show, The Hayward Gallery (1982); Bill Furlong, Bregenz Kunstverein, (1998); Sound Garden, The Serpentine Gallery, London; An Imagery of Absence at the Imperial War Museum.
William Furlong began as an artist painting and making sculptures, but whilst at the Royal Academy began to make three-dimensional and mixed media work. In 1973 William Furlong established Audio Arts; an innovative sound magazine published on cassettes, which includes unique recordings of artists, and interviews with an exceptional calibre of artists that includes: Joseph Beuys, Nam June Paik, James Joyce, Noam Chomsky, Andy Warhol, Anish Kapoor, Joseph Beuys, Gilbert & George, Yoko Ono, R. Buckminster Fuller, Hermann Nitsch, Mario Merz and Gerhard Richter amongst many others. As an established sound artist the voice and sounds are Furlong's materials. This arose from his intimate association with the voice when editing and recording interviews for Audio Arts. Many of his sculptures can be interpreted as architectural homes for sound to be pushed and pulled around a space, much like paint is pushed around a canvas.