Kieran Swann is an artist, curator, producer, and facilitator; working in both performance and visual art.
His practice returns to ideas of memorial, queerness, performance and bodies as archives, and strategies of co-creation, meaningful engagement of the audience, or at least displacing the usual audience/artist relationship.
Kieran is one half of McCarthy-Swann Projects, a curatorial collaboration that supports contemporary artists to create moments of connection, between artists, audiences, communities and individuals. McCarthy-Swann Projects platforms feminist, queer, and culturally diverse perspectives, to expand understandings of what is possible through a generous sharing of experiences.
In contemporary performance, Kieran is one fourth of The Good Room, a collective who use the anonymous experiences of ordinary people to create extraordinary theatre works; I Should Have Drunk More Champagne (Metro Arts 2013), I Want To Know What Love Is (Brisbane Festival/QTC 2014, Brisbane Powerhouse 2015), and I Just Came To Say Goodbye (Brisbane Festival 2017) – a body of contemporary work acclaimed for deep affect, striking imagery, innovative process, and meaningful community engagement. He brings rigour to collaborative practice; his training with Leisa Shelton has enabled him to lead organic and intuitive devising processes and refine generated material with precision, and a keen visual dramaturgy.
He is currently Head of Programme for Arnolfini, Bristol’s international centre for contemporary arts; and has worked with Portland Institute of Contemporary Art, Performance Space 122, Danspace Project, and Venice International Performance Art Week; and held positions at Theatre Network Australia, the nation’s leading advocacy organisation for the performing arts (Program Producer); Metro Arts, Brisbane’s home for experimental and contemporary art and performance (Program Manager), and fortyfivedownstairs, an independent space for Melbourne contemporary art and performance (Theatre Coordinator). He has maintained earlier collaborations with Transparency Collective (2010-2012) and the Restaged Histories project (2004-2009).
His body of work has received national acclaim; ABC Radio has described his work as “nothing short of brilliant”, and RealTime has noted him a “fabulous liar in a mundane world”.
Kieran has studied at Wesleyan University’s Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance, in Connecticut USA; Victorian College of the Arts; and Queensland University of Technology.