Born in the Lake District in 1943, he began modelling in Plasticine aged four and, at eleven, was invited to study part time at the Royal College of Art under John Skeaping, Professor of Sculpture. He went on to become a student at the Royal Academy Schools. In 1965 he became the youngest ever winner of the Royal Academy Gold Medal, also winning Landseer Travelling Scholarships, four silver medals and other awards including the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Award from Montreal. He studied anatomy at the Royal Veterinary College and, later, at the Department of Comparative Anatomy at University College Nairobi. The first of his extensive annual journeys to Africa was in 1965 and was followed in time by travels in India, Nepal and Afghanistan. Most of his exhibitions have been in London and New York, but he has also shown his work in Johannesburg, Nairobi and Paris.