Roger Ackling was born in Isleworth, London in 1947. He studied at St Martin's School of Art, graduating in the 1960s alongside Richard Long and Hamish Fulton. Like Long, Ackling took his practice outside of the studio and directly employed nature as his material.

His small scale sculptural works are made by focusing sunlight through a hand held magnifying glass to draw onto pieces of discarded wood or scraps of card. This intricate and primitive mark making is the focus of his work; he states "I’m not a symbolic artist; it is what it is at the time of making it."

His first solo exhibition took place at Lisson Gallery, London in 1976 where he has continued to exhibit throughout his career. He also exhibited extensively in Japan during the 1980s and has also shown at Angles Gallery, Santa Monica (1992), Palais Thurn and Taxis, Austria (1995) and Mappin Art Gallery Sheffield (2000).

His works are featured in many UK and international collections including, Arts Council of Great Britain, British Museum, Fonds National d'Art Contemporain, Paris, Hiroshima Museum of Contemporary Art, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh and Setagaya Art Museum, Tokyo.

He is represented by Ingleby Gallery, Scotland and lives and works in Norfolk.