muireann hanlon

Trainee Art Therapist, Educator and Artist

SEN — Supported Employment



Teaching and supported employment projects in disability school setting.

My current practice is with my students at Swiss Cottage School in the London borough of Camden as a SEND teacher. Creating a space in which a students’ expression, voice, identity, and independence can develop and grow is what motivates me.

I have worked with a wide span of ages, abilities, background, lived experiences, and complex medical profiles. I worked with the Post-16 department for a year and a half, and now I am based with the Early Years Foundation Stage department.

One of the main Art projects I have facilitated is the online shop for the EmployMEnt Pathway for the Post-16 students. Through this platform, the students design and make card designs and ceramic products to be sold to the public. Additionally the students have admin duties, along with packaging and postage.

The EmployMEnt Pathway is a department model which caters to pupils’ strengths and preferences for work. It supports pupils to understand and be motivated to join the world of work and aims to successfully engage with the community to build capacity with local employers in how to support people with SEND into employment.

The main medium I led with the young people was embroidery. Embroidery is a repetitive process where the students can find flow states which lead to a feeling of calm and also accomplishment. These designs were then scanned in, along with students’ own handwriting as the font, adapted using Photoshop, and printed onto cards to be sold.

Please view the students work via their online shop:

Trauma Informed Practitioner


mental health

Diploma/Certificate in Trauma and Mental Health Informed Schools and Communities.

I completed a practical skills-based training course underpinned by over 1000 evidence-based psychological, medical and neuroscientific research studies designed to inform and empower school and community staff to respond effectively to vulnerable children/young people who have experienced trauma and/or have a mental health issue.

The government Green Paper, Transforming Children and Young People’s Mental Health Provision (December 2017), states:

There is evidence that appropriately trained and supported staff such as teachers, teaching assistants can achieve results comparable to those achieved by trained therapists in delivering a number of interventions addressing mild to moderate mental health problems (anxiety, conduct disorder, substance use disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder.

This training provided me with the core skills to make this possible within my own school community.

Curiosity Instilled



Participatory Textile Practice.

#curiosityinstilled is a socially engaged project that wishes to generate a discussion on how we can make Art and the gallery space a more accessible entity, and an integral part of our community. This piece is made to function in the public realm in the hope to allow participants a moment of play and creativity in their everyday lives.

This project operated in Heuston train station (Dublin) prior to the NCAD graduate exhibition. Those who participated created soft sculpture collage on a velcro canvas, and captured it through photography, with the presence of a facilitator. The participants are accredited as the artist, and were invited to see their photographed artwork displayed at the NCAD graduate exhibition.

This was an exploration of methods in which a gallery’s exhibitions can respond to the public, as opposed to the public being encouraged to respond to the exhibitions. How can the gallery world (in its traditional form), create meaning and connection for members of the public who have been left feeling excluded and intimidated?

Face masks



Silk Hand Dyed Face Masks.

During the summer of 2020, in the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, I had returned from New York. My previous job at Software Studios LLC had supplied me with copious amounts of silk scraps. I spent my new found free time dying fabric and sewing face masks.

I sold and posted over 170 masks. A group of friends and myself also made over 200 masks for key workers and people living in Direct Provision.

Mainstream Secondary School projects



Secondary School Education (Ireland and Sweden).

My teaching career began after working as an Art instructor in a Summer camp in Canada. I then went on to complete a joint degree of Fine Art and Art Education at the National College of Art and Design. Throughout my time at NCAD I completed 4 different teaching placements.

Here you can see an example of a project in which we explored photography and photo manipulation. Each student chose an artist to draw inspiration from.

I spent my first year after graduating teaching in a secondary school in Stockholm. I was the head of the Textiles department and also taught two Art classes a week.

My Textile students’ projects explored themes such as culture, identity and landscapes. I taught skills such as embroidery, silk screen printing, sewing machine, pattern cutting, half drop repeat patterns, mood boards, design development, materials/techniques testing and experimenting, and many more.

MoMA — Museum & Gallery work



The Heyman Family Art Lab is an interactive space where kids and adults experiment, play, and create as they explore the ideas, tools, and techniques of modern and contemporary art. It is located in the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

I worked as an Art facilitator within the Art Lab from October 2019 to March 2020.

Being present and sensitive to the needs of the children and families that dropped into the museum’s creative family space (Heyman Family Art Lab at MoMA) was crucial for generating a positive and comfortable space for all involved. This came hand in hand with igniting visitors’ imaginations through questioning/discussion, play, experimenting, demonstrating artistic techniques, and making connections to the artworks of the museum.

As a department, we were frequently requested to give feedback and hold discussions on how to improve the space, to ensure it met the diverse needs and interests of the visiting public of MoMA.

During my time in MoMA, I had the privilege to undergo Disability Equality training, Gender Identity training, and a Curatorial lecture series before the reopening of MoMA after 4 months of renovations.

Other responsibilities of the job included being well versed in what exhibitions/events/programming were currently running, promoting membership programs and current publications, efficiently following the opening and closing protocol of the Art Lab, preparing and restocking supplies for Art Lab activities, and liaising with other education department teams.