The artist was among those who, in the 1930s, sought to evolve a new idiom for British art in terms of a severe and chaste abstraction.

Her first husband was the painter and theorist Adrian Stokes, and she lived for a time at St Ives, Cornwall, where she was associated with Ben Nicholson, Barbara Hepworth, and other members of the group. She lived for many years on the Suffolk coast, and much of her work consisted of reliefs and constructions formed from driftwood. This made it particularly suitable for the Pier Arts Centre at Stromness, Orkney, which is situated literally on a pier.

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