Born in 1930 in Thurlow, Suffolk, Elisabeth Frink was educated at a convent in Exmouth, and then studied at Guildford and Chelsea schools of art between 1947 and 1953. She then taught at Chelsea and at St Martin's School of Art and was a visiting lecturer at the Royal College of Art. She lived in France between 1967 and 1972, and later lived and worked in Dorset.
Her sculpted figures have dignity, mystery and a simplicity of form which place them apart from us: they seem to be focused elsewhere. The animals demonstrate her deep understanding of their state, for she encapsulates their innate and individual characteristics. Frink's drawing and graphic work 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.
In recognition of her achievements, Frink was awarded the C.B.E., the D.B.E. and the C.H along with several honorary doctorates at various stages in her career. She was elected to the Royal Academy in 1977 and in 1985 she was given a Royal Academy retrospective.