Born in Suffolk, Frink studied at Guildford School of Art (1947–9) and with Bernard Meadows at Chelsea (1949–53). She achieved early success when the Tate purchased Bird from her first exhibition in 1952.
She is associated with the school of British sculptors who came to prominence after the Second World War, and included figures such as Edward Paolozzi and Reg Butler. The male nude dominates her sculpture, together with huge bronze heads; birds, horses, and dogs are also recurrent subjects, and similar themes appear in her lithographs and etchings. Frink received many public commissions and achieved international recognition; she was awarded a DBE in 1982. Her last sculpture, Risen Christ (for Liverpool Cathedral) was installed a mere week before her death in April 1993.