Hayley Gillespie

Two decades ago a young British signwriter was backpacking her way around the globe when she stumbled upon Cairns and fell in love with the place. Since then she’s been a familiar face, zipping around town spreading her magic and energy through art.

Hayley Gillespie is a well recognised painter whose whimsical imagery captures the imagination and the nostalgia of childhood.

She has painted theatre sets and designed children's furniture for premier London theatres and exclusive retail stores and designed a multitude of popular children’s educational programs around Cairns for organisations including Cairns Regional Gallery, Cairns Festival and Tanks Arts Centre. She's held numerous solo exhibitions and contributed to countless group exhibitions and community projects.


For Illuminate Cairns, Mudge will collaborate with fellow artist Hayley Gillespie to develop a new work that draws upon the Chinese history of Cairns and in particular, Grafton Street.

“Set in the 1920s, elegant oriental ladies in red gowns strike a pose against the verdant jade sugar cane and bananas plantations. The foliage dwarfs all buildings. Gold fever leads to year of the monkey madness, tropical fever messing with minds before the reprieve of the big wet when worries float away on enlightened drumming clouds.”

Find Hayley's monkey madness connecting with Caroline Mudge's Chinese lady on the west face of Rydges Plaza, 50 Grafton Street, Cairns. And get ready for surprises when Dave Masters moulds their work to new ends with his Kinekt system.

Hayley is also a feature artist at the one night only group show Coco Loco Tiki Theme party on Saturday 12th November, entry via Bank Lane off Spence Street or via 34-42 Lake Street. 

You can view Hayley Gillespie’s latest murals at the Cairns Esplanade, on suburban bins and her ‘After Dark’ prints and original paintings, a selection of sweet and not so sweet images that reflect the darkness of fairytales, can be found on her website and online store.