THE collection of contemporary art at Swindon Museum and Art Gallery continues to develop and expand with new work by stars of the 21st century art world.

This continual evolution in the Swindon collection is celebrated in a exhibition called New Acquisitions, which has run over the summer - but time is running out and if you would like a chance to see new pieces, head over to the gallery before August 23.

New Acquisitions is made up of around 13 pieces, including seven works on paper by two of Britain’s most fascinating contemporary female artists, Nicola Tyson and Monster Chetwynd and a painting by the former Keeper of the Royal Academy, Eileen Cooper OBE RA.

Curator Sophie Cummings said they were particularly pleased to have more pieces by female artists, who were under-represented in the collection.

“Eileen Cooper had an exhibition at the gallery a couple of years ago. We’ve had a drawing since 1990 and were always keen to have a painting as well,” Sophie said. “We had support from the friends of SMAG and the V&A purchase fund, which helped us to acquire the painting.”

The oil on canvas work is called Play Dead and depicts a figure lying down and another with hands over its eyes.

“It was influenced by Cooper raising children, and those difficult talks about death and bad things in the world,” Sophie explained. “It’s really beautiful.”

The exhibition also features four drawings by Nicola Tyson, given to Swindon this year by the Contemporary Art Society.

“Nicola Tyson was born in Britain but has lived in the US since the early 1990s,” Sophie said. “Her art is in some amazing American collections, like the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and in San Francisco.

“We are very proud she’s now in the Swindon collection too.”

One of the drawings is called Stoned Rose, a sidelong allusion to the rock band, as Tyson was active in the clubbing scene in the 1980s, Sophie explained. Another interesting piece of a collage called the Cat People by Monster Chetwynd. Responses to the exhibition have been positive.

“These are artists who are still making work now. These pieces are part of a living, breathing person’s career,” she said.

The gallery in Bath Road is open Tuesday to Saturday 11am to 4.30pm.

Admission is free.