Sculptor, painter, draughtsman and writer who led a bohemian, often controversial life. Born in London of an English mother and Swedish father, Berlin was apprenticed as a mechanical engineer, in 1928 enrolled at Beckenham School of Art, but decided instead to pursue a career as an adagio dancer in music-halls. In 1934 and 1938 pursued art studies at Camborne-Redruth Schools of Art in Cornwall as well as other subjects such as poetry, philosophy and comparative religion. Had first one-man show at Camborne Community Centre in 1939, by which time he had begun sculpting. Although a conscientious objector at outset of World War II, he eventually joined the Army. Settled in St Ives, and was co-founder of Crypt Group in 1946 and a founder-member of Penwith Society in 1949, the year his book Alfred Wallis, Primitive, was published.

Text source: 'Artists in Britain Since 1945' by David Buckman (Art Dictionaries Ltd, part of Sansom & Company)

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