The Orla Kiely scholarship

Designed to support early career creatives at a crucial stage in their professional development, the Orla Kiely scholarship in collaboration with the Royal College of Art enables the RCA to further cultivate talented students in the field of textiles. 

Hannah Brew, the RCA scholarship recipient of 2022/2023, talks about her project "Sam", and the development that she has undergone during her time at the Royal College of Art. A project exploring sensory charms and accessories that possess a high aesthetic value, whilst catering specifically to audiences with disabilities and neurodiverse backgrounds. 

Hannah Brew Artwork

"I am writing this reflection while my final exhibition is being shown at the RCA. I have had such moments of joy throughout my time here working in different collaborative projects, meeting new peers, and building a creative network learning about diverse ranges of practice. I feel as though my practice has blossomed. My professional confidence has grown. And most importantly, I have a large amount of momentum and passion ready to translate into my next chapter upon graduating."

Using acrylics as her core material playing on its high contrast quality for visual impairment needs, she has taken enjoyment in adding sensory benefits with various embellishment techniques. The created range of charms hold different sensory qualities suited for a wide range of people.   

Hannah Brew Artwork

"The Show is such a wonderful moment to be able to showcase my brand to a wide audience and explore the future of it. The journey of developing my practice has been a personal one. Sam, my sister, has been the inspiration behind it all. Sam wouldn’t characterise herself as creative, yet, she has collaborated with me - bringing knowledge and experience of disability and neuro-diversity to develop the inclusivity of my work. This collaboration has been of huge value to me. Not only has it progressed the concept, aesthetics, and functionality of my practice, but it also has opened a conversation I had been wanting to explore."

It brings us such joy seeing such strong, important and beautiful work coming from the Orla Kiely RCA scholarship. Seeing a new generation of artists evolve is incredibly exciting, and we cannot wait to see Hannah's career develop.

Find out more about Hannah's project via her Instagram @hanboobrew, or get in touch with her via email

Photography: Hannah Brew.