Hayley Tompkins was born in Leighton Buzzard in 1971. She completed an MFA at The Glasgow School of Art in 1998 and lives and works in Glasgow.

Her painted objects transform commonplace things into ephemeral artworks which perform a subtle, painterly occupation of the spaces in which they are shown. Rather than focusing on the set frame of a canvas, objects become containters or surfaces for her interventions; a chair or tree branch is covered in pastel coloured marks or a plastic water bottle is filled with pigmented water in murky shades. Most often, Tompkins paintings are created in plastic trays; the vivid waves of paint creating patterns as the tray is turned and tipped.

For her exhibition in the Scottish Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013, Tompkins presented a series of these paintings alongside works created from stock photography. The works were displayed across the floor of the space, in order to create an experience akin to traversing a beach, 'an expanse of looking' as the artist describes.

Recent solo exhibitions include ‘Currents’, Studio Voltaire, London; ‘A Piece of Eight’, The Modern Institute, Glasgow (both 2011); ‘Autobuilding’, Inverleith House, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (2009) and ‘Transfer’ (with Sue Tompkins) Spike Island, Bristol (2007).

Recent group exhibitions include 'Painting Show', Eastside Projects, Birmingham; 'Watercolour', Tate Britain, London; 'Vegetable Loves', Polarcap, West Barnes Studios, Dunbar (all 2011); 'In Memory of Painting 8', Layr Wuestenhagen Contemporary, Vienna; 'At Home/Not At Home (From the collection of Martin and Rebecca Eisenberg)', Hessel Museum, Bard College, New York (curated by Mathew Higgs); 'Ashes to Ashes', AMP, Athens 'Fragments of Machines', IMO, Copenhagen; 'Group Show', Autocenter, Berlin (all 2010); 'Frequency: Mark Garry, Padraig Timoney, Hayley Tompkins', Hugh Lane Museum, Dublin; 'modern modern', Chelsea Art Museum, New York (both 2009) and 'Open Field', CCA, Glasgow (2008).