Kay Harwood was born in Lancashire in 1978. She studied in London at the Slade School of Art, then at the Royal Academy Schools, graduating in 2004.

Since then, Harwood has exhibited widely in Britain and abroad and her work is included in a number of important collections. She is foremost a figurative painter: working in oils, creating highly detailed paintings which find their origins in intensely worked collages. Harwood's work investigates echoes within cultural histories, referencing, reconfiguring and re-presenting our visual and literary past to create seamlessly crafted and timeless new fictions.

Harwood continues to live and work in London.