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Dorset Museum presents major exhibition of Elisabeth Frink’s Dorset life and work

September 4, 2023

An exhibition that will reveal an intimate portrait of the celebrated British sculptor Elisabeth Frink is to open at the beginning of December at Dorset Museum.

Coinciding with the 30th anniversary of the artist’s death, Elisabeth Frink: A View from Within will be the first exhibition to focus on the significant body of work produced by Frink (1930-1993) at her Woolland studio in Dorset between 1976 and 1993. It will explore her artistic process, personal life and the profound influences that shaped her work: human conflict and our relationship with the natural world. It will run from 2 December 2023 to 21 April 2024.

The exhibition will present works from the collection that Dorset Museum acquired from the Elisabeth Frink Estate in 2020, featuring sculptures, prints, drawings, and personal possessions. Many of these items, including working plasters that formed the basis of Frink’s bronze sculptures, will be on public show for the first time.
Arranged thematically, Elisabeth Frink: A View from Within will comprise around 80 works arranged in eight themed sections, each offering a unique perspective on Frink’s life and art.
From her personal and artistic life at Woolland to a recreation of her studio, the artist’s creative methods will be explained, along with insights into her profound artistic vision. Through her sculptures the exhibition will explore her intimate connection with the natural environment; the contemplation of human-animal interdependence; spirituality and humanist beliefs; her dedication to human rights advocacy and finally her enduring legacy.

As well as items from the Dorset Museum collection, the exhibition will include personal papers and photographs from the Frink Archive at the Dorset History Centre, and large-scale sculptures from Yorkshire Sculpture Park and The Ingram Collection of Modern British and Contemporary Art.

Following its run at Dorset Museum, Elisabeth Frink: A View from Within will tour Wessex Museum partners’ Swindon Museum and Art Gallery (2024, dates to be confirmed) and the Salisbury Museum (May – October 2025).

Elizabeth Selby, Director of Collections and Public Engagement at Dorset Museum, said: “Elisabeth Frink was an extraordinary artist who explored what it meant to be human through her work. This exhibition will portray Frink in a more intimate light, revealing her inner world and the major themes she explored in her sculptures, prints and drawings. We are thrilled to be able to display more of the works we acquired from the Elisabeth Frink Estate in 2020, and explore Frink’s connections with Dorset, where she lived and worked from 1976 until her death in 1993.”

The exhibition is generously supported by the Arts Council England NPO scheme through the Wessex Museums Partnership. Other funders include the JP Marland Trust, the Henry Moore Foundation, the Ann James Art Fund, The Finnis Scott Foundation, and the Fine Family Foundation.

Elisabeth Frink: A View from Within is sponsored by Duke’s Fine Art Auctioneers, Dorchester.

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