Kieran is a curator and producer, working across artforms. He 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.
He is currently Curator for Create London, chiefly responsible for A House For Artists, an ambitious new project providing long-term affordable housing for artists, and a programme of contemporary art and engagement in Barking; and the White House, a space for artist residencies, events, and community-led activity on the Becontree Estate in East London. Prior to this, Kieran has worked as Head of Live Programme for Wellcome Collection, a London museum focused on the intersection of art and health; Head of Programme for Arnolfini, Bristol’s international centre for contemporary arts; Program Producer for Theatre Network Australia, the nation’s leading advocacy organisation for the performing arts; and Programme Manager for Metro Arts, Brisbane’s home for experimental and contemporary art and performance. He has also worked on a short term basis with Portland Institute of Contemporary Art, Performance Space 122 (now Performance Space New York), Danspace Project, and Venice International Performance Art Week.
He has contributed to the formation of the Bristol Dance Futures initiative; Bristol Photo Festival; and Convergence (a forum event for Australian independent artists that ran 2015 to 2017).
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.
His body of work has been described by ABC Radio as “nothing short of brilliant”, and RealTime has noted him a “fabulous liar in a mundane world”.
August 2021 – present: Curator, Create
2016 – present: Curator/Producer, McCarthy-Swann Projects
May 2020 – June 2021: Head of Live Programme, Wellcome Collection
March 2018 – May 2020: Head of Programme, Arnolfini
May 2017 – February 2018: Program Producer, Theatre Network Australia
August 2012 – June 2016: Program Manager, Metro Arts
For All I Care; a podcast exploring health through the lens of contemporary art and science – produced by Wellcome Collection & BALTIC, with Reduced Listening (Co-curator)
RAZZLE DAZZLE; public artworks, Brisbane City Outdoor Gallery (Curator, as McCarthy-Swann Projects)
ASSEMBLY; an exhibition of work by Angelica Mesiti, presented by Arnolfini (Curator)
Zanjir; an exhibition of work by Amak Mahmoodian, presented by Arnolfini (Co-curator, with Alejandro Acin)
Still I Rise: Feminisms, Gender, Resistance – Act 3; presented by Arnolfini (Associate Curator, Curator of Public Programme)
Fluffy Library; an installation by Antigoni Tsgakaropoulou, presented by Arnolfini & atopos CVC (Curator)
St Pauls Carnival x Martin Parr Foundation; a pop-up residency and exhibition, presented by Arnolfini, St Pauls Carnival, and Martin Parr Foundation (Project Manager)
NETHERWORLDS; Spring Hill Reservoir (Curator, as McCarthy-Swann Projects)
Common Scold; new work by Naomi Blacklock & Anastasia Booth, Bus Projects (Curator, as McCarthy-Swann Projects)
NETHERWORLDS; Seventh Gallery (Curator, as McCarthy-Swann Projects)
The Size of Air; public artwork by Kinly Grey (Curator, as McCarthy-Swann Projects)
The Weight of Light; public artwork by Meagan Streader (Curator, as McCarthy-Swann Projects)
I JUST CAME TO SAY GOODBYE; Brisbane Festival (contemporary performance; co-created with with The Good Room)
These Frozen Moments; public artwork (Curator)
Brave New Worlds; public artwork (Curator)
NETHERWORLDS; The Walls Art Space (Curator, as McCarthy-Swann Projects)
Australian Program: work by Casey Jenkins, James McAllister, Stelarc – Venice International Performance Art Week; Palazzo Mora, European Cultural Centre (Associate Curator, supporting Leisa Shelton)
NETHERWORLDS; firstdraft (Curator, as McCarthy-Swann Projects)
SONIC STATE; Metro Arts (Producer & Project Manager).
The Tragedy of King Richard III; La Boite Theatre (contemporary performance; Devisor/Designer)
I Want To Know What Love Is; Brisbane Powerhouse (restaging of 2014 contemporary performance work; co-created with The Good Room)
Slipstream / Festival of Time Based Art; Metro Arts (Curator & Producer).
I Want To Know What Love Is; Queensland Theatre Company & Brisbane Festival (contemporary performance; co-created with The Good Room).
Brisbane Experimental Art Festival; Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Art (Curator).
In Conversation: Art Architecture Action! How can socially engaged tactics in art and architecture activate the public realm?, presented by London Festival of Architecture (June 2022)
Closing keynote: Futureproof, presented by Visual Arts South West (September 2019)
Research presentation: Australian Theatre Forum 2017, presented by Theatre Network Australia (October 2017)
Panel discussion; ‘Reflections from the Theatre Diversity Initiative’, Australian Theatre Forum 2017, presented by Theatre Network Australia (October 2017)
Panel discussion (facilitator): ‘Do Artists Need Festivals?’, Brisbane Festival (September 2015)
Speaker: ‘Live Art Is Dead’, Festival of Live Art, Arts House (March 2014)
2016-17 Postgraduate Diploma (Curatorial Practice in Performance), Wesleyan University, CT USA.
2010 Postgraduate Diploma (Performance Making), Victorian College of the Arts. Graduated with First Class Honours.
2005 Bachelor of Fine Arts (focusing on Stage Design), Queensland University of Technology. Graduated with Distinction.