Skip to main content

This page is under construction. If you wish to add information to it, read the instructions here.

Michael Hanna

Born 1979, February 22 (Craigavon, Northern Ireland)

Michael Hanna is an artist based in Northern Ireland. His recent work has taken the form of social and sensory experiments with myself as the subject. The works set in motion open questions about how things might be altered at micro and macro levels, and how we make sense of the world. These are realised through immersive environments, and long-term performances that are documented with photography, video and text.

Running alongside these works is ‘The Utopia Project‘, an ongoing research project informing his practice and his life, which are becoming increasingly intertwined. As part of this project he has taken a series of trips to utopian sites across the world. These trips constitute first-hand research looking at communities and architectures, building up a visual archive detailing ‘how to live’. His recent solo exhibition ‘Looking Backward’ drew on this research as it brought together new and past works as a way to consider promised futures and the disparities between utopian ideals and local realities. 

Exhibitions include PhotoIreland Festival, Dublin Castle (2022), TULCA Festival of Visual Arts, Galway (2022),  Crawford Art Gallery, Cork (2022), Chennai Photo Biennale (2021) and The MAC, Belfast (2020). 

He has recently completed a residency at Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris (2021), and the Freelands Artist Programme (2019-21), a 2-year fellowship with PS², Belfast and Freelands Foundation, London. 

Michael is a co-founder of AMINI, an artist led initiative for the promotion and critical discussion of artists’ moving image in Northern Ireland. 1 2

Awards and honours

  • 2022, Artist Bursary, a-n The Artist’s Information Company, Newcastle upon Tyne
  • 2021, Artist in Residence – Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris
  • 2020, Project Grant, The Elephant Trust, London
  • 2020, Artists Emergency Programme – Arts Council of Northern Ireland
  • 2018, Freelands Artist Programme – Freelands Foundation, London
  • 2018, Artist in Residence – Gluck50, Milan
  • 2017, Artist in Residence – NI Science Festival
  • 2016, Shortlist Suki Tea Prize, Visual Artists Ireland
  • 2016, AMINI – Artists in Residence, The MAC, Belfast
  • 2014, Support for Individual Artist Programme – Arts Council of Northern Ireland
  • 2013, Individual Artists Award – City of Culture, Derry~Londonderry
  • 2013, Artist in Residence – Millennium Court Arts Centre, Portadown
  • 2012, Artist Career Enhancement Scheme – Arts Council of Northern Ireland
  • 2012, Alice Berger Hammerschlag Award – University of Ulster, Belfast
  • 2012, Artist in Residence – Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast
  • 2010, Residency Programme – Digital Arts Studios, Belfast
  • 2009, Andrew Grant Bequest – Edinburgh College of Art
  • 2008, Original Vision Award – Royal Ulster Academy
  • 2007, The Alumni Fund Academic Excellence Award – Faculty of Art and Design, University of Ulster


Solo exhibitions

  • 2020, A Living Colour Index, The MAC, Belfast – online
  • 2019, Looking Backward, PS2, Belfast, Northern Ireland
  • 2018, Windows, Timisoara European Capital of Culture 2021, Romania
  • 2017, Short Films about Learning, Lismore Castle Arts, Waterford, Ireland
  • 2017, Predictable Contact, Naughton Gallery, Belfast
  • 2015, Short Films about Learning, Belfast Exposed, Belfast
  • 2013, Behaviour Setting, Millennium Court Arts Centre, Portadown
  • 2012, Calculated Error, Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast

Group exhibitions

  • 2022, TULCA Festival of Visual Arts – Galway
  • 2022, PhotoIreland Festival, ‘Opening the Gates’ – Dublin Castle
  • 2022, Artists in Neighbourhoods – Household Belfast
  • 2022, How Did We Get To: Know So Little? – Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast
  • 2022, Saturation – Crawford Art Gallery, Cork
  • 2021, Maps of Disquiet – Chennai Photo Biennale, India
  • 2021, Quicksilver – Freelands Foundation, London
  • 2021, Mediating Signals, Havelock House, Belfast
  • 2021, Urgencies – CCA Derry~Londonderry
  • 2021, Northern Ireland Mental Health Festival – online
  • 2020, In a Rainbow of Coalitions – The MAC, Belfast
  • 2020, Dissolving Histories: An Unreliable Presence – Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast
  • 2020, ALL IN! – Catalyst Arts, Belfast – online
  • 2019, Radical Arcadia – Zaratan Arte Contemporanea, Lisbon, Portugal
  • 2019, Glasshouse V – Shankill Library, Belfast
  • 2018, Frame Forward: Rather Life – Walker Art Centre, Minneapolis St Paul International Film Festival, USA
  • 2018, Single Channel – Anthology Film Archives, New York, USA
  • 2018, Sights and Sounds of Ireland Today – Solas Nua, Washington DC, USA 
  • 2018, 0.1km – online
  • 2017, In Real Time, 126 Gallery, Galway
  • 2017, Windows, Corners of Europe – Gdansk, Poland
  • 2017, CYFEST 10 -Taiga Arts Centre, St. Petersburg, Russia
  • 2016, Windows, Corners of Europe – DSS2016, Donostia/San Sebastian, Spain
  • 2016, Notes on Belfast – ltd los angeles, USA
  • 2016, Suki Tea Prize, Oonagh Young Gallery, Dublin
  • 2016, Afterimage – Belfast Film Festival, Queens Film Theatre
  • 2016, CYFEST 10 – Conferias in Partnership with SOFA, Bogata, Columbia
  • 2015, Les Rencontres Internationales – Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, Germany
  • 2015, Vanishing Futures: Collective Histories XII – Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast
  • 2015, The Numbers Station, University Gallery, Belfast
  • 2015, Windows, Corners of Europe – Haninge, Sweden
  • 2015, GLUMBA SKKZX – Ex Elettrofonica, Rome, Italy
  • 2014, Les Rencontres Internationales – Gaîté Lyrique, Paris 
  • 2014, Multiplicity – NURTUREart, New York, USA
  • 2014, Windows, Corners of Europe – Taranto, Italy
  • 2014, Little Kingdoms – Catalyst Arts, Belfast
  • 2013, Off-site project: Distillation Hollywood – Millennium Court Arts Centre, Portadown
  • 2013, Oscillator – Science Gallery, Dublin
  • 2012, Instances of Agreement – Kao Yuan Arts Centre, Kao Yuan University, Taiwan
  • 2012, The New Adventures of Wonder Woman – PS2, Belfast
  • 2012, Interplanetary Revolution – Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast
  • 2011, Digital Arts in the Gallery – DAS @ Catalyst Arts, Belfast
  • 2011, Contemporary Art and the Moving Image – Galway Arts Centre
  • 2011, Other Perspectives, Millennium Court Arts Centre, Portadown
  • 2010, Futures – Elephant, Los Angeles, USA
  • 2010, Arrivals – Ormeau Baths Gallery, Belfast
  • 2010, As Seen On The Radio – Mill Street Studios, Dublin
  • 2010, Salon – Embassy Gallery, Edinburgh
  • 2009, Showreel – Collective Gallery, Edinburgh
  • 2008, Colloquiart, The GRV, Edinburgh
  • 2008, Carnival of Souls – Wasps Studio, Glasgow
  • 2008, Royal Ulster Academy – Titanic Drawing offices, Belfast


  • A Living Colour Index, 2020
    A Living Colour Index is a photo series produced in response to the days and weeks blending together during the first Covid lockdown in Northern Ireland. The interior of the artist’s home was lit entirely with a different colour each week for 7 weeks, moving through the spectrum from red to violet. The colour provided a new sensory living environment within the same space, testing the idea that novel experiences play a part in memory formation and in turn set the parameters for our experience of time. An image was posted online each day with an accompanying quotation related to  space, time, perception and memory. The work was originally commissioned by the MAC in Belfast as a digital project to be shown online daily, it has since been produced in a printed format for gallery exhibition.3
  • Windows, 2014 – 2018
    Windows is a collaborative public work with Basque choreographer Asier Zabaleta. The project invites participants to create, answer and discuss questions of personal, local and global interest. Over a 5 year period the project travelled around Europe to Taranto, Haninge, Belfast, Northumberland, Donostia, Gdansk and Timisoara. 4
  • Short Films about Learning, 2015
    Video juxtaposing a selection of images taken from the Belfast Exposed photography archive with excerpts from the Yale lecture series ‘Introduction to Psychology’. 5
  • Calculated Error, 2012Funding was secured in advance to correct a series of planned mistakes. These included getting a misspelled tattoo which was then corrected using laser treatment. 6