Ryker Allen: Citrus Moan Cherry
Citrus Moan Cherry, a presentation of works by Ryker Allen, arrived at Assembly House Studios on May 23rd and marks the debut exhibition of Hollie Myles' curatorial residency there, with exhibitions planned for June, October and November.
Ryker Allen (b. 1997) (they/them) is a gender nonconforming photographer from San Antonio, currently based in New York City focusing on young queer masculinity and the boys they've dated. They are Photo Editor of Hello Mr. and currently study at The School of Visual Arts on a BFA in Photo & Video. Manchester-based curator Hollie Myles is Photo Editor and Events Co-ordinator for Intern magazine.
"I really wanted to do a show that, for one, shown a queer artist - I don't think there are enough spaces that show queer artists in the North", states Hollie. "And second (I wanted to show) photography, because I feel a lot of stuff can be installation or sculpture based".
Was there a lot of dialogue between yourself and Ryker to help organise the show?
"I think the emails between myself and Ryker came to about one hundred and twenty between us - in March I actually went over to New York for my Dad's birthday and met up with them over there. We'd already spoken about the show and I met up to show them photos of the space and discuss how they wanted it because they've never shown their video works anywhere before".
Citrus and Moan - two of Ryker's screening videos voiced over with their own poetry - bring a verbal permeance to the space and oscillate between works from Allen's upcoming book, Cherry Blossom.
For your upcoming shows, will you be taking a different curatorial approach each time, allow the space to respond to the work or vice-versa?
"Yeah, that's something I want to be a big part of it - I want the shows to be an open dialogue between myself and the artist, between ongoing things and in response to the space".
After Citrus Moan Cherry, Hollie's next show as part of the residency is June 27th at Lady Beck Studios, and there is an opportunity to be part of the exhibition by responding to its' Open Call.
"The guys for the next show (27th June) have already been to the space and come up with ideas for the show, and that's going to be an interesting one for me to curate because I asked them to do a show and they've put out an open call, so it's going to be a bigger group show".
Putting the Residency on hold over summer, Hollie's next exhibitions will broach photography and sculpture before looking at publishing archives, and will be opening in October and November respectively.
Citrus Moan Cherry is open at Assembly House Studios, 44 Canal Street, Leeds until 30th May by appointment only.