Tony Cragg was born in Liverpool in 1949, where his father worked in the aircraft industry as an electrical engineer. In 1968 Cragg began a foundation course at the Gloucester College of Art and Design in Cheltenham, moving on to a three year undergraduate course at Wimbledon School of Art.
In 1973 he won a place on the prestigious post-graduate sculpture course at the Royal College of Art, where his practice as a sculptor embraced the use of cheap ‘everyday’ materials that he was used to handling while working on building sites. (Sometimes he would collect these materials riding solo around London on a tandem bicycle.) Cragg recalls “For me, in the mid-seventies, the crucial question became one of finding a content and from that came the idea that might evolve through a more formal approach to the work.”