United Kingdom, 1947
ROGER ACKLING (born 1947, lives in Gloucestershire,UK) has had nearly one hundred solo exhibitions since 1976 in the UK, USA, Japan, France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland and Austria. Ackling's show at Annandale in 2000 was his first exhibition and visit to Australia. His work is in over forty public collections including the Tate gallery, Stedelijk Amsterdam, Tokyo Metropolitan, and Basel Kuntsmuseum.
ROGER ACKLING is essentially a painter, but a highly unusual and original painter in his choice of materials. He uses sunlight focussed through a magnifying glass to make his paintings and a formal description of a work by Ackling is 'sunlight on wood'. The 'canvas' is discarded wood and the 'paint' source is about ninety-three million miles away. There is a lack of physical contact with the materials and no working studio as such. his work lies on the boundaries between painting, sculpture and drawing by burning abstract images onto found objects - usually driftwood.
Firstly, the object needs to attract his eye to be picked up, and it's shape or characteristics dictate to a great extent what sort of image it receives. Straight lines at close intervals made from the result of burning small circular 'suns' form the shapes. Usually they are rectangular, oblong or near square but the same straight lines may be employed to form circular shapes. There is a sense of transposed pattern in the image which then interacts with the original size and shape of the found wood to realize the artwork. A geometric, rigorousness akin to abstract painting of the past and a spiritual sensibility pervades the work which is meditative in execution and requires great concentration and focus bringing to mind the 'rarrking' or crosshatching of bark painters from Arnhemland such as John Mawurndjul.