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


As a teenager, I used to walk past one of Birmingham’s last remaining saunas every day on my paper round. Spartan has occupied a repurposed terraced house on the cusp of inner-city Birmingham for over 30 years, nestled between neighbouring structures serving their intended domesticity. Without signage, one of the only ways you could know of its existence is through word of mouth, or in my case, through a risky Google search on the family computer.

Each urban area has cruising spots - sanctioned venues like saunas and sex clubs, or discursive forms such as public parks and toilets. The Silver Slipper, for example, was a large Victorian public toilet on Hill Street in Birmingham City Centre that remained a popular haunt for rent boys and cottagers until it closed in 1987. The toilet is said to have gotten its name in the 1950s when police stormed the facilities and caught two men cottaging. One of the men managed to escape, so fast his shoe fell off, while the other was arrested and charged. It is said that a police officer picked up the discarded shoe from the ground and uttered the words ‘and whoever the slipper may fit, shall be the one’.

As a community, we rely on fragmented recollections like this to retrace the past. I know The Silver Slipper was adjacent to a ballet shop and likely got its nickname from its signage that featured a silver ballet slipper, but still I prefer the rumour.