Born 1941, Prestatyn, Flintshire.
Barry Flanagan enrolled at Birmingham College of Arts and Crafts to study architecture in 1957, transferring to the fine art department a year later. In 1960 he moved to London where he found employment in set design and gilding frames among other things. He attended Caro's Friday evening classes at St Martin's School of Art becoming a full-time student 1964-66 where, along with contemporaries Gilbert and George, Hamish Fulton and Richard Long, he was encouraged to address landscape through a time based and performative practice. He continued to teach at St Martin's from 1967-71.
While at St Martin's, he co-edited the publication Silans in which he published some of his own poetry and in 1965 he participated in the Second International Exhibition of Experimental Poetry at St Catherine's College, Oxford. In 1972 he won a Gulbenkian Foundation Grant to work with the dance company Strider and in 1975, an Arts Council Grant enabled him to develop kiln work following a period of study with the potter Ann Stokes in 1974.
In the mid 1970s he began to work with more conventional materials and returned to carving and then to casting in bronze. His principal subject matter was leaping and fighting hares although in 1983 he made some bronze horses, inspired by those of Saint Mark's in Venice.
Barry Flanagan had a solo exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery in London in 1978. In 1982 he was the British representative at the Venice Biennale and the exhibition was shown at the Whitechapel Gallery in London in 1983. Also in 1983, there was a retrospective exhibition at the Pompidou Centre in London and another at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park in 1992. Commissions include the Peter Stuyvestant Sculpture Project, Cambridge in 1972 and City Square, Ghent in 1980.
He was elected to the Royal Academy in 1991.