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⭐ F is for Elisabeth Frink ⭐

Fink is an incredible sculptor and is so loved by many.

Born and raised on an airbase in Suffolk, WW2 broke out when she was 9, she witnessed first hand to the struggles and danger that war brought not only to the base, but the scars and damaged it left behind on the men who fought for their country.

She trained at Guildford School of Art & Chelsea Art School. Frink’s early work was dark and reminiscent of her time spend in the airbase. At 22 the Tate bought a sculpture called ‘bird’ which, when ask what inspired it, Frink responded by saying - a recurring nightmare about plane crashes she had witnessed.

Known as one of the leading post war sculptors, Frink’s work lead her to be associated with the ‘Geometry of Fear’ sculptors such as Lynn Chadwick, Geoffrey Clarke and Kenneth Armitage, whose works were often ‘spikey’ in nature.

Frink recalls London in the 1950s as ‘an artistic place’ and would often find herself in pubs with the now great Francis Bacon, John Milton and Lucian Freud.

In the 1960s she began making works of men. Often appearing heroic at first, these figures on closer inspection seemed to speak of the damage of war both physically and mentally on the figures she made.

Frink also loved horses and was taught to ride at a young age by her father who was an amateur jockey. Frink adored her father and this relationship can be seen in the subjects she depicts as they all in someway link back to him.

There is a great episode on Frink’s life and works on the Sculpting Lives Podcast - do go and check it out! I’ve tagged the podcast in the image so you can find it there! :)

Jo McLaughlin

December 2021

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