Born in Folkestone, Mary Martin studied at Goldsmiths' College and the Royal College of Art, where she met her husband Kenneth Martin, also an acclaimed artist and sculptor. After her studies, she worked first as a painter and rug designer (as Mary Balmford) and also taught. This wall construction was commissioned by the University Art Committee for the new Pathfoot building canteen. This turned out to be her last public commission and she sadly died before it was installed. The mural is typical of her work, in that movement is implied both in a system of positive and negative spaces, and also in the play of light over mirrored surfaces.