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. In 2013 Tompkins was selected to represent Scotland at the 55th Venice Biennale. Tompkins has exhibited widely both in Britain and internationally, with recent solo exhibitions and commissions including: The Modern Institute, Glasgow, 2015; Aspen Art Museum, 2013; Studio Voltaire, London, 2011, Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York, 2009. Tompkins is currently featured in The British Art Show 8 touring the UK.
Hayley Tompkins (1971 – )
Hayley Tompkins is known for her works that bridge painting and object-making. Her carefully arranged compositions in delicate colours and textures feature small-scale objects, which she paints onto or fills with paint, as well as commonplace household items and photographs. 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 containers or surfaces for her interventions, for example 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.
Digital Light Pool (Orange) was part of Tompkins’ exhibition in the Scottish Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013, where she presented a series of these tray paintings alongside works created from stock photography. The works are 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. In the Digital Light Pools paint is dislodged from representation just as the photographic images are freed from their original context. This separation allows coincidences between material and imagery to rise to the surface.