Roger Hilton was born in Northwood, London - he studied at the Slade School of Fine Art, London and also in Paris. His service during World War II included three years as a prisoner-of-war. During the late 1940s he worked among a small group of British artists interested in abstraction, particularly with Peter Lanyon in Cornwall. He experimented with ways of depicting forms in space, first playing them in an illusory space, then as if on the surface alone, than as if floating in water. Despite the constant appeal of abstraction, his work never lost touch with the visual world. Allusions to the female torso are especially prevalent, and his frank humorous nudes always have pleasing abstract qualities. Confined to bed with poor health during the 1960s he started to draw animals and birds, allowing his imagination free play. By 1974 he was confined to bed as an invalid precipitated in part by alcoholism, but he never lost either his sense of humour or certain combativeness: "As you live it changes the line you make. As your life is, so is your line. As you live it becomes more your line. The line says - at first you make many lines, and then you only have to make a few, and they say more."