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Summary Article: Frink, Elisabeth
from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

English sculptor. She created rugged, naturalistic bronzes, mainly based on human and animal forms; for example, the Alcock Brown Memorial (1962) for Manchester airport, In Memoriam (heads), and Running Man (1980).

Training Frink was born in Thurlow, Suffolk. She studied at the Guildford School of Art from 1947 to 1949 and in London at the Chelsea School of Art from 1949 to 1953, where she later taught for several years. At Chelsea she explored two main themes in her sculpture: naked men on horses and predatory birds.

Amnesty International's work for prisoners of conscience was a strong concern of hers; she produced a series of busts of victims and martyrs of political injustice and this led on to her gaunt, somewhat larger-than-life-sized male figures. From 1967 to 1973 she lived in France and expressed her horror of the Algerian War and other troubles in North Africa in a series of ‘goggle heads’ resembling torturers in sunglasses or the messengers of death in motorcycle goggles in Jean Cocteau's film Orphée. In her later years, influenced by the Riace bronzes, the classical Greek figures found off the coast of southern Italy, her male figures became more aggressive. Her use of startling colour effects was inspired by the Aboriginal art she had seen on a visit to Australia.

Frink's other public commissions include the Dorset Martyrs in Dorchester and the Shepherd with Three Lambs in Paternoster Square, London. She also undertook a few commissions for churches, the last being a bronze Christ for Liverpool Cathedral, unveiled only weeks before her death. She was made DBE in 1982 and CH in 1992.

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