Dame Elizabeth Frink

City Information Centre

   Dame Elizabeth Frink was born in 1930; her father, whom she idolised, was an officer in the 7th Dragoon Guards. When she was nine years old, the Second World War broke out and Frink witnessed first-hand the physical and psychological trauma of returning soldiers.
 In 1939 Frink was staying in a boarding house in Dorset where she met a young pacifist artist called Rodney Fenwick, who taught her how to draw and paint. It was something of a revelation for the army child who had, until then, been more interested in riding and shooting.
 After the war Frink’s father was sent to Trieste in Italy. The teenage Frink travelled from there to Venice, where she discovered a love of Renaissance sculpture. Throughout her career, Frink made sculptures of animals, in particular birds and horses. She credited her love of wildlife with being brought up in the countryside.  
 One of her works can be seen in Paternoster Square. It is a sculpture of a shepherd and sheep, The statue was commissioned by Trafalgar House for the north side of its 1960s development at Paternoster Square and unveiled in July 1975. Although it is located in Paternoster Square (Pater Noster is Latin for the Lord’s Prayer) next to St Paul’s Cathedral, the sculpture is not directly religious. It remembers Newgate Market, which used to sit just to the north-west of where Paternoster Square is today.

Paternoster, also known as Shepherd and Sheep by Dame Elizabeth Frink

 The statue was removed in 1997 to a temporary location on London Wall while the offices around St Paul’s were re-developed and was reinstalled in 2003 on a new Portland stone plinth after the redevelopment was completed. Another interesting touch is that the statue of the shepherd is androgynous and could be a man, or a woman, or neither.  


Thumbnail image © JohnSculp CC BY-SA 3.0