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



Oct 2018

Martyrdom has long been used to position queerness within the respectable realm of Christianity. The patron saint of the homo-erotic, Sebastian, mirrors the queer experience; executed by the Romans due to his religious beliefs, he draws links between queerness, the pornographic delight found within his arrow-penetrated form and the plight of the LGBTQ+ community during instances of stigmatisation and disease.

Referring to martyrdom’s queer capacity, McDermott & McGough’s ambitious installation ‘The Oscar Wilde Temple’ at Studio Voltaire promotes an awareness of cross-generational queer activism. Upon being led through gold-tassel curtains, the gallery space is unrecognisable: its concrete floor replaced by wood panelling, rows of chairs provide a means of worship and the pungent aroma of frankincense evokes recollections of Catholic mass. Symbols of religious significance are found throughout. Wilde is adorned with golden halos in ‘The Stations of Reading Gaol’ (2017), twelve paintings which narrate his imprisonment for sexual deviance and seize the familiarity of Christ’s crucifixion. Through a vehicle of Christian acquaintance, the viewer is presented with an understanding of the writer’s demise from beloved figure to pervert.

At the centre of the gallery’s back wall lies the focal point of the exhibition. The ‘Oscar Wilde Altarpiece’ (2017) takes the form of a raised wooden platform, an effigy of the writer and several candles which make a heart, recalling street-side forms of commemoration. The permanent and make-shift memorial is blended, reflecting the frequency of queer deaths and the need for their remembrance within the public sphere.

In using tools of Christian dominance, McDermott & McGough provide exposure for lesser-known martyrs. To each side of the space appear twelve studies of queer torchbearers and victims of hate-crimes; among those included are American revolutionary Marsha P. Johnson and Jody Dobrowski, who was killed at a cruising spot in Clapham Common in 2005, moments away from the gallery space. Resting on side-altars beneath each study are texts – or funeral cards – outlining the life and times of each individual.

Sitting on a pulpit towards the end of the exhibition lies ‘Book of Remembrance’ (2017), which continues from the installation’s previous display at New York City’s The Church of the Village in 2017. In its pages, visitors are encouraged to write the names of partners, family members and queer-kin who have suffered at the hands of marginalisation and disease. The invitation embodies the exhibition’s communal purpose; the LGBTQ+ are called to engage collective reflection and mourning, a right which is so often denied and is only reclaimed through the display’s explicit appropriation of the religious.