Eileen Cooper RA was born 1953 in Glossop, in the Derbyshire Peak District. She studied at Goldsmiths College from 1971-1974 being in the cohort of students who were selected by Jon Thompson. She went on to study Painting at the Royal College of Art under Peter de Francia, graduating in 1977 and soon began to exhibit her work. Sometimes described as a magic realist, Eileen Cooper brings an unapologetically female perspective to her subject-matter, which encompasses sexuality, motherhood, life and death. During the 1980s she became a major figure, well known and regarded for her strong and passionate figuration. Cooper has always taught part time in numerous institutions including St Martins, Royal College of Art and the Royal Academy Schools. She became a Royal Academician in 2001 and served as Keeper of the Royal Academy between 2010 and 2017, making her the first woman in the history of the Academy to do so.