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


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

info [at] ryankearney.co.uk



4 May - 1 Jun 2019
Recent Activity
80-82 Floodgate Street
B5 5SR

↑ Poster by An Endless Supply

The Club’s Conception (or How the Egg Was Cracked) is an exhibition which looks to retrace the past venues of Birmingham’s longest-running queer space, The Nightingale Club. In collaboration with those who attended its three preceding venues, Intervention Architecture and Ryan Kearney map these spaces from recollections, replacing absent photographs while positioning personal and collective narratives within archival significance.

Founded as a member’s association in 1969, The Nightingale Club leased a two-up, two-down house on Camp Hill. Much like a home, visitors requested entry and could be denied, reflecting the necessitated subtlety of early queer establishments. Following a compulsory purchase order in 1975, the venue moved to a working men’s club on Witton Lane, before taking up residence in a fishing association on Thorp Street in 1981, where it remained until it was sold in 1994. The club’s previous sites reflect ongoing threats of regeneration in Birmingham’s LGBTQ+ community, and the need to shift, occupy and adapt heteronormative structures while providing important spaces for queer people.

The Club’s Conception (or How the Egg Was Cracked) consists of armatures which carry the participant’s sketches and their culmination as architectural renderings, models illustrating the club’s structures based only on recollections and text which blends descriptions of walls, floors, doors and windows.

Using architecture as a point of departure, the exhibition confronts the problematics of a queer venue. Initially run for and by gay men, it was only in the mid-1990s that women could become members of The Nightingale Club, something which is reflected by the ratio between men and women in the project’s list of participants. Prior to becoming a member, women would need to be signed in by and have their drinks purchased for them by a male member. While eventually permitted entry, participants describe entire rooms being annexed by female attendees, creating a safer space within a so-called safe space.

    Exhibition Guide
    Accompanying Text

    Art Monthly, July 2019
    Art Monthly Podcast, July 2019
    New Art West Midlands, May 2019

    Photos by John Fallon