Some of the best pictures in Swindon’s collection of modern art will be on display to celebrate the diversity of the town.

The online exhibition The Beauty of Diversity has been put together by the Women’s Group of The Harbour Project, which works with refugees and asylum seekers in town.

The Harbour Project has worked with Swindon Museum & Art Gallery to put on the exhibition as part of the borough council’s Art on Tour scheme.

Its aim is to share more of the town’s collection across the town – especially since the closure of the museum’s home in Old Town, Apsley House.

Katie Ackrill, Art on Tour’s engagement officer, said: “We’re so excited to have been able to work with the Women’s Group from The Harbour Project. It gave us the opportunity to hear totally different and fresh perspectives on well-loved pieces of art from the Swindon Collection.

“We have been able to bring a new dimension to our online engagement work, and sow the seeds of a fruitful relationship with the Harbour Project.”

Sophie Peart, of The Harbour Project, said: “Our sessions and workshop with Katie have enabled our women’s group to connect to Swindon through artwork. We have been able to see pieces depicting Swindon and also from the town’s artists.

“Using art has been great as it transcends all languages so our women have been able to express their own opinions and engage with the artwork. This project has started a conversation which I hope we can continue.”

The exhibition features local work showing urban and natural spaces alike, as well as pictures by nationally significant artists Lucian Freud, Desmond Morris and Eileen Cooper and is available online at

It is one of the few chances to see some of the renowned Swindon collection since Apsley House was closed March 2020.

More than 100 people gathered on Monday to demand the museum’s reopening as pandemic restrictions were dropped in England and museums and galleries elsewhere are opening.

Swindon Borough Council’s cabinet member for heritage and culture Rob Jandy said the building could not be reopened because of the cost of the repairs needed which would still leave the building inaccessible to many people.