Simon Starling was born in 1967 in Epsom, Surrey. He studied photography and art at Maidstone College of Art from 1986 to 1987, then at Trent Polytechnic Nottingham from 1987 to 1990 and then attended Glasgow School of Art from 1990 to 1992. From 1993 to 1996, he was a committee member of Transmission Gallery, Glasgow. 
Starling was the first recipient of the Blinky Palermo Grant in 1999.  In 2005, he won the Turner Prize with the work, Shedboatshed that involved taking a wooden shed, turning it into a boat, sailing it down the Rhine and turning it back into a shed. Starling was short-listed for the Guggenheim's Hugo Boss Prize for contemporary art in 2004.
His work is in the permanent collection of distinguished museums, such as the Tate Modern, London; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Kroller Muller Museum, Netherlands; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; and Museum Folkwang, Essen. Starling has had solo exhibitions at numerous international venues including Thyssen-Bornemisza Contemporary, Vienna (2012); the Power Plant, Toronto (2008); Städtischen Kunstmuseum zum Museum Folkwang, Essen (2007); Kunstmuseum Basel Museum für Gegenwartskunst (2005); Museum of Modern Art, Sydney (2002); Portikus, Frankfurt (2002); UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2002); Kunstverein Hamburg (2001); Vienna Secession (2001), Museu Serralves, Porto (2000); Camden Arts Centre, London (1998); and the Moderna Museet, Stockholm (1998), among others. In 2003, the artist represented Scotland at the 50th Venice Biennial.
- "Simon Starling: Under Lime". Temporäre Kunsthalle Berlin. Exhibition Catalogue. Cologne: Walther König, 2009
- "Simon Starling". Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst Leipzig. Exhibition Catalogue. 1999
- "Simon Starling". Turner Prize. Retrieved 2010-12-07.
- "Simon Starling". The Modern Institute. Retrieved 2010-12-07.
- NTU website http://www.ntualumni.org.uk/NetCommunity/Page.aspx?pid=426
- The Modern Institute: Simon Starling
- Turner Prize 2005: Simon Starling
- Guggenheim: Simon Starling
- Guardian interview (12/2005)
- frieze review (10/2005)
- Casey Kaplan: Simon Starling
- Franco Noero: Simon Starling
- Tate: TateShots: Simon Starling at Tate St Ives. 2011.
- Interview with Fabian Stech in ANNUAL MAGAZINE No. , 2012 p. 143-146.