Frances Hodgkins was born in New Zealand and first came to Europe in 1901. She taught in Paris between 1910 and 1912 and settled in England in 1914. She was a close friend of Cedric Morris and Lett Haines, the former proposing her membership of the Seven and Five in 1929. 'Wings over Water' is typical of Seven and Five artists in its depiction of a table-top still life set before a window. It was painted in the artist's studio in Hampstead, an area of North London much favoured by avant-garde British artists at the time, and evokes memories of Cornwall where she had settled in 1914.