Simeon Barclay creates multi-dimensional installations – ensembles of film, neon signage, collage, sound and sculpture – that question how memory, images and objects situate and define us. He also investigates the complexities of migrant identity, and how this is articulated in private spaces and public collections. Barclay’s work is rooted in his own experiences of growing up as part of a black working-class family in Huddersfield during the Thatcher years; discovering the glamour and inaccessibility of Vogue as a teenager; finding liberation in club culture; and the sixteen years he spent working in industry before discovering visual art as a mode of expression. Much of his work draws on the nightclub as inspiration, by its freedoms, spectacle and rituals, and its potential as a site of resistance.
Simeon Barclay (born 1975, Huddersfield) lives and works in Leeds. Barclay studied at Leeds Metropolitan University and Goldsmiths, University of London.
Precariously Perched on the Edifice of Ruins (2020-22) was commissioned by Hayward Gallery Touring, Manchester Art Gallery and the Whitworth, The University of Manchester, for British Art Show 9 and made possible with Art Fund support.