Willi Soukop was born in Vienna, Austria on 5 January 1907, where he also studied at the Academy of Fine Art. He left Austria for England in 1934 and until 1940 he lived at Dartington Hall, Devon, which had become a refuge for many artists escaping Nazi persecution. In 1938 Soukop had his first solo show at the Stafford Gallery in London. In June 1940 he was among a small number of ‘enemy aliens’ shipped overseas to Commonwealth interment camps in Canada, Australia, and East Africa, spending nine months in a camp in Ottawa, before returning to Dartington. He taught at various schools throughout his career, including Dartington College of Arts, Guildford School of Art and Chelsea School of Art. In 1969 Soukop was appointed Master of Sculpture at the Royal Academy schools and exhibited at the Royal Academy on more than 70 occasions. His sculptures can be found in many public spaces, including the Elmington Estate in Camberwell. Willi Soukop died in Glasgow, Scotland on 8 February 1995.