Kenneth Armitage was born in Leeds, Yorkshire. He studied at Leeds College of Art and at the Slade School of Fine Art, London. After World War II he taught at Bath Academy of Art as Head of Sculpture. Armitage destroyed nearly all his pre-war carvings and subsequently used plaster, later cast into bronze. He began creating groups of figures involved in casual everyday activities such as going for a walk, or sitting down on a bench, in which bodies appear as flat sheets, with limbs projecting almost like distress signals. He was one of three British representatives at the Venice Biennale of 1958 where he won the award for the best sculptor under 45 and where the term ‘geometry of fear’ was coined by Herbert Read to describe the particular flavour of this post-war British sculpture. The human figure continued to occupy a central part of his work until the late 70s when he returned, in his Richmond Oaks series, to non-figurative subjects. A retrospective was held at the Whitechapel Art Gallery, London in 1959 and a survey exhibition was toured by the Arts Council in 1972-73. Between 1967- 69 he was guest artist for the City of Berlin Kunstlerprogramm, and in 1970, visiting Professor at Boston University, USA.