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Pete Wishart MP with Artist Katherine Radeva and Curator of Threshold Artspace Iliyana Nedkova

Established in September 2005 and pioneered by independent cultural charity Horsecross Arts, Threshold artspace is about positioning Perth and Scotland within the contemporary art world through curating, commissioning, producing, exhibiting, publishing, interpreting and collecting.

Curator and SCAN member Iliyana Nedkova invited Pete Wishart MP to the space to meet artist Katherina Radeva and see a sneak preview of her first major solo exhibition Transient Spaces.  They discussed the importance of curating and sustaining through continued public funding a dedicated contemporary art space situated within the two iconic venues for performing arts in the city – Perth Theatre and Perth Concert Hall.

Iliyana, who curated Transient Spaces together with fellow art historian Daniella Dimova-Yaneva, said: “Katherina’s exhibition embodies what our curatorial programme is about at Threshold artspace. As Perth’s only public gallery and museum dedicated to contemporary art and artists’ moving image, Threshold artspace is also uniquely situated at the ‘threshold’ of a much-loved theatre and a concert hall, and thus uniquely positioned to explore the relationship between visual and performing arts, between visual arts and theatre as in case of Katherina’s work. Additionally, one of the fastest growing strands of our museum collection of contemporary art at Threshold artspace is of works by women artists. We are proud that 50% of our collection is comprised of works by women artists like Katherina’s or the Quebec artist and filmmaker Marlene Millar.”

“Katherina’s exhibition is the first opportunity for aficionados of theatre and contemporary art to discover the other, prolific yet under-represented side of Katherina, the visual artist. Following our encouraging sneak preview with Pete, I do hope that all our visitors will also enjoy discovering the intellectually stimulating yet raw and honest style of Katherina’s brush stroke. I believe that they will also be touched by the stories of those like Katherina, born on the cusp of the collapse of communism anywhere in post-socialist Europe, but also the stories of those who share the artist’s experiences of migration, identity and social class – leaving friends and family behind and looking for a better future.” 

Transient Spaces offers timely reflection on the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the emergent debates in curatorial and artistic practice from the former East of Europe. Pete’s initial visit to the exhibition stirred a lot of his own reflections about the end of the Cold War and he pledged to continue the conversation by joining the artist and curators for the accompanying theatre performance Fallen Fruit and the post-show Q&A”.

(c) Alex Brenner
Fallen Fruit. Image: Alex Brenner

Katherina said: ‘I am so thrilled to have met Pete and will hold him to his pledge. It was great to have shown him around my first UK major survey show at Threshold artspace. The artspace is such an important cross art form institution which has been putting Perth on the international contemporary art world map since 2005! I am also so excited that the exhibition is pertinently timed to accompany the autumn tour of my Two Destination Language theatre production Fallen Fruit across Scotland. The tour of Fallen Fruit to Perth Theatre on 10 November is an essential part of the exhibition and in fact marks the very day some 30 years ago communism collapsed in Bulgaria.”

Pete was also the first visitor to appreciate Katherina’s ambitious new limited edition light art installation commissioned and acquired by Horsecross Arts as part of Collect + Support – the ongoing initiative for collectible contemporary art of which the first edition enters the public museum collection at Threshold artspace and the rest of the edition is made available to all exhibition patrons to purchase for their own collection. The light art work is inspired by the glowing, five-pointed Red Star – the central trope of communism – yet it traces the hand-drawn qualities of Katherina’s painterly style through light.

Transient Spaces Exhibition View Image by Iliyana Nedkova
Transient Spaces exhibition view. Image: Alex Brenner.

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