Bernard Meadows was born in Norwich and attended Norwich School of Art between 1934 and 1936. He studied at the Royal College of Art, and in the late 1930s was a studio assistant to Henry Moore. During the early 1950s the work of Meadows and other British sculptors often incorporated forms suggesting aggressive or wounded insects, birds and marine creatures. Meadows became interested in the crab motif, which recurs in his work, while he was serving in the RAF on the Cocos Islands. 'Lovers' is a late work in which the forms seem to refer to the human figure but where there is also a suggestion of mechanical forces at work. The artist had made a number of drawings exploring the effects of pressure on soft shapes. He described 'Lovers' as 'a soft form squeezed between two harder forms, the one cubic and immobile, the other more aggressive'.