Iliyana Nedkova, our creative director for contemporary art will travel to Tartu, Estonia to develop cultural links between Perth, Tartu and Pskov in Russia thanks to a grant from the International Council of Museums UK (ICOM UK)

The ICOM UK Heritage without Borders Travel Grant will enable Iliyana Nedkova, who co-founded Perth’s one-of-a-kind contemporary art museum Threshold artspace in Perth Concert Hall and Perth Theatre, to visit the Museum of Art in Tartu and establish an international curatorial partnership between Perth, Tartu and Pskov, Perth and Tartu’s twin city in Russia. The partners will explore the possibility of co-commissioning a new contemporary art project to connect and tour to the three cities.

Gwilym Gibbons, Chief Executive of Horsecross Arts, the creative organisation behind Perth Concert Hall and Perth Theatre said:

“Iliyana Nedkova’s visit will lead to an exploratory exchange of ideas between Horsecross Arts and Tartu’s Museum of Art. It will pave the way towards implementing a new international partnership – the first of its kind with an Estonian partner for us. I am looking forward to establishing the foundations of a long-term collaborative relationship between Perth and Tartu especially in the context of the central role Horsecross Arts is playing in shaping the future of the cultural offer in Perth."

With over 25 years of international curatorial experience, Iliyana Nedkova has already established a formal relationship between Horsecross Arts and Friends of Pskov Association, Perth. Founded in 1992 this cultural, educational and social association is fully supportive of this new project aiming to build contemporary art bridges between Perth over the Hanseatic heritage of Pskov and Tartu. Following its 25 years of successful twinning projects, the Friends of Pskov Association, Perth will facilitate any further curatorial research and the resulting artistic projects in Pskov and Tartu to mark the Hanseatic Days weekend of cultural events in Pskov in 2019 and tour to Threshold artpace and TartMus.

Dana Andrew, Executive Director of ICOM UK, said:

“The Travel Grants offered by ICOM UK provide a unique source of funding to enable staff from regional and local museums and galleries to travel internationally to develop new partnerships and projects for the benefit of their local audiences. ICOM UK is delighted that the Travel Grant awarded to Horsecross Arts will enable Iliyana to take the first step towards developing a long-term partnership between creative practitioners and audiences in Perth, Tartu and Pskov.”

Under the terms of the grant Iliyana Nedkova will write a report on her visit which will be published as a case study on the ICOM UK website.

ICOM UK is the national branch of International Council of Museums in the United Kingdom. It is a gateway to the global museum community and the only UK museum association with a dedicated international focus. It offers access to 20,000 museums in 172 countries, 32,000 museum colleagues throughout the world and 31 professional committees. It is an organisation which promotes intangible heritage and the preservation of material heritage. It develops best practice standards for the world- wide museum industry and, through its global reach and events programme, contributes to the international agenda of museums in the UK.