New Acquisitions Committee Members 2021/22

15 May 2021

The Arts Council Collection is pleased to announce two new members of the 2021–22 Acquisitions Committee. Simeon Barclay, artist, and Alistair Robinson, Programme Director, Northern Gallery of Contemporary Art.

Simeon Barclay is an artist whose practice draws upon a rich vein of popular culture to make works that activate complex cultural histories whilst addressing the complexity of memory, inheritance, aspiration and desire. Barclay received his BA from Leeds Metropolitan University, Leeds in 2010 and an MFA from Goldsmiths College, London in 2014. He has exhibited both nationally and internationally including at Southbank Centre, Tate Britain, South London Gallery, London; Liverpool Biennial, Liverpool; Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Workplace Foundation, Gateshead; Holden Gallery, Manchester; The Tetley, Leeds; Cubitt Gallery, London; The Bluecoat, Liverpool; Jerwood Space, London; Galerie Lisa Kandlhofer, Vienna; Rodolphe Janssen, Brussels; Arcadia Missa, New York and W139, Amsterdam. Simeon lives and works in Leeds.

Barclay commented; "I am delighted to be joining the 20212023 Arts Council Collection Acquisitions Committee and full of excitement, energy and enthusiasm for what lays ahead. I am truly honoured to take up this position and I am committed to introducing the panel to artists whose practices create dialogues and are reflective of the multiplicity of voices that constitute the full spectrum of British creativity today."

Alistair Robinson is Director of Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, having held previous posts at the V&A and National Museum of Photography. He is the author and editor of books including 'Post-Specimen: Encounters Between Art, Science and Curating' (Intellect, 2020), 'Museum and Gallery Studies' (Routledge, 2018), 'Rank: Picturing the Social Order (AEN 2009). He has awarded artists including Harun Farocki and Cory Arcangel their first UK solo shows and is currently completing doctoral research into how collections of museums of modern art are changing across Western Europe.


Recommendations on purchasing innovative works of art that reflect artistic practice in Britain today are made by a changing group of external advisors to the Arts Council Collection Acquisitions Committee.

Acquisitions are made through a committee of eight individuals. Simeon and Alistair join the external members, Martha Barratt, writer and editor and Dr. Zoé Whitley, Director of Chisenhale Gallery. The internal members of the Acquisitions Committee are Deborah Smith (Director, Arts Council Collection), Ralph Rugoff (Director, Hayward Gallery), and Peter Heslip (Director, Visual Arts, Arts Council England). Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair of Arts Council England, acts as Chair to the Committee.


Explore works acquired for the nation through our 2020–21 Acquisitions.


The Arts Council Collection is the UK's most widely seen collection of modern and contemporary art.

With more than 8,000 works by over 2,000 artists, it can be seen in exhibitions and public displays across the country and beyond. This website offers unprecedented access to the Collection, and information about each work can be found on this site.