Ginger Beer: a queer art exhibition co-curated by Rowan Waller and Ben Hartley at The Island, Bristol.


As co-curators Rowan Waller  (@leafyteefy) and Ben Hartley (@ben_hart9) explained to me, “Ginger beer is cockney rhyming slang for queer, so we were reclaiming the term and celebrating queer artists and their work, but we also wanted to keep the branding of the exhibition fun and casual, and not stuffy.”

Ginger Beer is a small yet fascinating exhibition, envisioned by a group of Lgbtq+ artists to coincide with Lgbtq+ history month and sponsored by The Island in Bristol, whose manifesto is to foster a community spirit and to be a platform for artistic experimentation.

The exhibition features artists such as Emily Buchanan, Hope Carroll, Charlie Cunnington, Ben Hartley, Flo Lily, Jasmine Marsh (@jfmarshart), Izzy Mooney, Kirstin Ringham ( and Nathan Taylor (

Ginger Beer’s main goal to shy away from more “academic” exhibitions basically enables the audience to experience every artworks with a multi-sensorial and non-direct approach.

The audience is actively engaged to create meaning out of the artworks, mainly addressing issues of identity, sexuality and gaze: the absence of blurbs or of any descriptive information remove the barriers between artists, artworks, audience and space.

Ben Hartley 2.jpg

Ben Hartley, © Kirstin Ringham

As Ben states, The video piece “character development” (presented on a monitor in the dark space) is a screen recording of a performance lasting 20 minutes. In this video I play a character exploring the internet and developing their personality through viewing, liking and reblogging imagery on social media. I wanted to explore themes of identity construction in the digital world.

What really intrigued me is the way in which Ben plays with digital and pop culture, creating an interesting interplay between himself and the computer.


Ben Hartley, © Kirstin Ringham

Charlie Cunnington.jpg

Charlie Cunnington (@charliecunnington), © Kirstin Ringham

Emily Buchanan 2.jpg

Emily Buchanan, © Kirstin Ringham


Jasmine Florence Marsh, © Kirstin Ringham


Exhibition preview, © Kirstin Ringham

Izzy Mooney 2.jpg

Izzy Mooney, © Kirstin Ringham

Kirstin Ringham.jpg

Kirstin Ringham, © Kirstin Ringham

Nathan Taylor.jpg

Nathan Taylor,  © Kirstin Ringham

Rowan Waller 3.jpg

Rowan Waller, © Kirstin Ringham

Rowan Waller.jpg

Rowan Waller, © Kirstin Ringham

Overall, I recommend to visit the exhibition which will be running until tomorrow (Wednesday 28 February 12 PM-4 PM) at the Island in Bristol.

For more information check the Facebook page:






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