Ian Spurling (1937-1996) was born in South Australia. He was educated in stage design at the Slade School of Art, London. His professional commissions were largely for ballet and opera productions, and include work at the Western Theatre Ballet, Royal Ballet, National Ballet of Canada, Bavarian State Ballet, and Houston Ballet. His design credits include The Seven Deadly Sins, Peter and the Wolf, Elite Syncopations, and Cinderella. Notably, Spurling designed costumes for Freddie Mercury, the lead singer with the rock band Queen.