Ryan Kearney is a curator and writer based in Nottingham, UK. Ryan’s on-going research centres on queer night-time spaces.


Print | A Map of Queer Brum, Nov 2019

Exhibition | If Memory Serves, Birmingham Hippodrome, Sep 2019

Workshop | Campania, an explanation and a history, Recent Activity, May 2019

Exhibition | The Club’s Conception (or How the Egg Was Cracked), Recent Activity, May 2019

Exhibition | Three Models for Change, Stryx Gallery, Jun 2018

Performance | Rainbow Flag/Trojan Horse, Recent Activity, Jun 2018

Exhibition | A Prelude, Centrala, May 2018

Screening | Queering the Archive, Recent Activity, Nov 2017


Artist Talk | Denzil Forrester, Nottingham Contemporary, Feb 2020 →

Keynote | Paul B. Preciado and Jack Halberstam, Nottingham Contemporary, Feb 2020 →

Artist Talk | Diane Simpson, Nottingham Contemporary, Feb 2020

Artists’ Film | The Otolith Group, Nottingham Contemporary, Nov 2019

Contemporary Conversation | Form and Frontier, Nottingham Contemporary, Nov 2019

Conference | Architectures of Education, Nottingham Contemporary, Nov 2019

Artists’ Film | Jarman Award Touring Programme 2019, Nottingham Contemporary, Oct 2019

Exhibition | From.Between.To, Gallerija Vartai, May 2019
Performance | Territorial Symphonies, Block Universe, 58th Venice Biennale, May 2019

Exhibition | From.Between.To, Parafin, Apr 2019 →  


Review | Love and Solidarity at Grand Union, this is tomorrow, Apr 2020

Text | Some Kinda Love, Celine Gallery, Oct 2019

Review | Ian Giles: Trojan Horse/Rainbow Flag, this is tomorrow

Exhibition Text | Indre Serpytyte: From.Between.To, Parafin and Galerija Varta, Apr 2020

Text | The ‘Gale Comes of Age, In The Pink, Grand Union and SHOUT Festival, Nov 2018

Review | The Oscar Wilde Temple at Studio Voltaire, this is tomorrow, Oct 2019

info [at] ryankearney.co.uk



Apr 2020

The term ‘community’ conjures images of disparate individuals joined by shared interests, experiences, cultures, or religion. But the term also groups unquestioningly, disregarding an acknowledgement that frictions can - and do - exist. Jamie Crewe’s ‘Love & Solidarity’ at Grand Union, Birmingham, the sister exhibition of ‘Solidarity & Love’ at Humber Street Gallery, Hull, offers a conflictual understanding of kinship, and parameters for queer love and disdain.

Crewe draws from Radclyffe Hall’s ‘The Well of Loneliness’ (1928) - a novel tracing the life of Stephen Gordon, a “masculine lover of women” who could be recognised as a trans man. The first of two commissioned videos, “The Ideal Bar” - “Le Narcisse” - “Alec’s” (2020), presents a staged altercation between two individuals in a Glasgow nightclub, referencing a scene where Gordon glances at their reflection in the mirror of a gay bar and grapples with feelings of disgust. In Crewe’s interpretation, a space associated with queer intimacy becomes embittered, questioning the assumed solidarities among those with shared experiences. An accompanying video, “Morton! - “Beedles” - “An abyss” (2020), documents the fabrication of well dressings with the artist’s family, friends, and colleagues, prompting conversations around village gossip and transphobia that further evidence cross-communal moments of scorn.

Well dressings are used to decorate natural springs throughout church communities in Derbyshire before withering within weeks of fabrication. Yet, Crewe’s collaborative relics have been fired, offering a lasting insight into what queerness once resembled and could grow to become. One dressing contains a quote by activist Randy Wicker describing Sylvia Rivera, a transgender activist whose work at the forefront of the Gay Liberation Movement is often erased:

“[With] all of these awful experiences that went on in her life you would have thought as she got older she would have got uglier and more twisted. And instead somehow she went through this rollercoaster ride of tragedy and suddenly bloomed like a new rose of spring or something - I should say an opium poppy!” (Randy Wicker)

Following a well-documented feud and decades of criticising Rivera’s assertive approach against his assimilationist policies, this quote suggests Wicker’s appreciation of her work and perhaps an understanding of the disparities between their experiences - his as a cisgender gay man and that of Rivera, a transgender woman of colour.

The fact remains that queerness is fractured. In the past year, we have witnessed a backlash against the inclusion of black and brown stripes on the pride flag, the platforming of TERF (trans-exclusionary radical feminist) narratives in the media, and the growth of anti-trans organisations. ‘Love & Solidarity’ is a compelling reminder of the potential for queerness to become more inclusive through an understanding and recognition of our different existences.