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Dame Elisabeth Frink, R.A. (1930-1993) was an artist I was familiar with growing up and I'm very pleased that we have a set of her etchings, which will be listed on this site very soon. If you want to know when, subscribe to our newsletter (button below). There was a solo exhibition of Frink's work in 1987 on Portland, home to our H.Q. The exhibition was held at the Chesil Gallery (no longer a Gallery), although I was a little bit young to be traveling unattended back then!
Frink was born in Suffolk in 1930. In 1945 she visited Venice, which inspired her interest in arts and culture, and began her studies at the Guildford School of Art the following year, where she specialised in Sculpture.
The Tate bought a sculpture from her first exhibition at the Beaux Arts Gallery with John Harvey and Michael Werner, which helped make her one of the youngest and most successful sculptors in post-war Britain. Despite (or maybe because of) this early success, Frink did not find much favour with the critics, although remained hugely popular with the public.
Frink taught at art schools throughout the 50’s, but left teaching in the 1960’s, moving to France in 1967 where she created her Goggle Heads. She was occupied by the human condition, grappling as with many contemporaries in Europe at the time, with the consequence and realities of war.
Frink lived and worked at Woolland, Dorset from 1977 up until her death aged 63 in 1993. The grounds of the Woodland Estate were dotted with sculptures. The estate was inherited by her son, Lin Jammet. On his death, he gifted the Frink estate to the people. Her archive of documents, material objects and works on paper is held by the Dorset History Centre, in Dorchester. They are part way through cataloging the archive, assisted by the former curator of the Frink Estate, Annette Ratuszniak. I am looking forward to being able to carry out further research there in the future.
We will soon be listing for sale, a series of etchings and aquatints illustrating Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. 175 sets of this etchings were produced in 1972. A small selection of these are shown below. More to follow ...