Although these two artists have very different formal and material methodologies inherent in their relative practices, they do posses a strong sense of emotional affinity. Both are interested in the land and landscape, and in how perception and visuality are interlinked and influenced by preconception and memory. They also share a feeling for fragility, tonal range and layering as process and meaning. Mary’s work is strongly located within drawing, while Lois’ has wider formal concerns, which include installation, sculpture, wall pieces and also drawing.
In Mary Husteds own words – “My work on the Open Books project has brought me in touch with artists from very different traditions. From the Chinese I have learned a new understanding of positive and negative space and a reverence for the accidental mark. This has fed into my own work and helped me to develop what I call the calligraphy of the ‘found’ or ‘given’ mark. Many of these marks are rubbings from the natural environment. Fragments of these together with drawn ‘made’ marks are combined to roam across pages to hint at rather than to depict the world around me. In Certain Welsh Artists, Lois speaks of the appropriateness of materials always being an issue: ‘In my studio I work surrounded by things: wire which reminds me of hair, real hair and synthetic; horse- hair, sheep’s wool. Muslin, felt, rope paper: all sorts really. These are works in their early stages, works halfway made, works abandoned and left for a while. Very occasionally, in a cleaned-up space there is a final, finished work attached to a wall, or attached to the floor, or attached to the ceiling.’