Born in Dublin, Noel Sheridan studied at Trinity College, Dublin and Columbia University in New York. He spent much of his career in education, and in the 1970s he was the only Professor of Conceptual Arts in the world, teaching in Sydney, Australia. He was subsequently made Director of the National College of Art & Design, Dublin in 1980 to 2002, with a four-year hiatus to inaugurate and direct the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts in Australia. He represented Ireland at the 1962 UNESCO Convention of young painters in Paris, and won the Carroll Prize for painting at the Living Art exhibition in Dublin in 1965 and 1969. Sheridan was director of the Experimental Art Foundation in Adelaide, Australia from 1975 to 1980 and won the Emeritus Medal for cultural contribution from the Australia Council for the Arts in 1994. In 2001, the RHA Gallagher Gallery, Dublin held a survey show of his work and in conjunction with Four Courts Press published a book, On Reflection.