Cathy O'Reilly Hayes was born and raised in Dublin. Upon graduating with a degree in architecture she moved to London. After working as chief designer in Wolff Olins, and studying art at night in Chelsea school of art, she relocated to the Bahamas with her family. The freedom of this move allowed Cathy to develop her artistic practice. There, she continued her art education and before long was invited to exhibit on a regular basis. Her work became imbued by the opulence of its tropical nature.
The family returned to Ireland ten years later, while Cathy’s work has always been defined by its figurative, bold and sensual execution, in recent years she has used this vibrant aesthetic to explore the impacts of Catholic dogma on contemporary female identity and has developed this theme across multiple mediums in both two and three dimensional pieces.