Born 1927, Sheffield.
From 1943-1948 Derrick Greaves trained as a signwriter. After attending evening classes in Sheffield, he won a scholarship to the Royal College of Art, during which time he shared a house with the painter Jack Smith and the sculptor George Fullard. They were all part of the London-trained generation of artists from Sheffield that also included John Hoyland and Brian Fielding.
He went to Italy in 1952 on an Abbey Scholarship and met and was influenced by the realist painter Renato Guttuso. He became associated with the group of painters, including Jack Smith, dubbed the Kitchen Sink School for their strongly structured portrayals of the environment of working class life. The group exhibited at the Venice Biennale in 1956 and were re-examined in the exhibition The Forgotten Fifties, curated by Julian Spalding for the Graves Art Gallery, Sheffield in 1983. The Graves Art Gallery also held a retrospective exhibition of his work in 1980.
Derrick Greaves taught at Norwich School of Art and still lives in Norfolk.