Timespan, Helmsdale, Museum of the Year finalist, 2021


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Museum of the Year 2021 finalist

In the remote Scottish village of Helmsdale, Timespan is a social and creative community hub inspiring local people to keep connected to their heritage.

The picturesque harbour village of Helmsdale sits in the rural Scottish Highlands and is home to just 800 inhabitants – Timespan provides an integral service to this small community, documenting the history of the area. Given its remote location the museum is uniquely placed to bring people together, providing a space for socialising and inspiration.

Four major projects are commissioned by the museum per year, creating a rolling programme of exhibitions and events that align with topical social movements. They are particularly focused on amplifying urgent contemporary issues affecting the local community, using multidisciplinary art to tell powerful stories.

Previous exhibitions and events have covered topics ranging from space travel, fishing and the history of Caribbean textiles, to kite making and crafting. Notably, their Real Rights exhibition was monumental in reframing local history, as it explored the intersection between climate change and colonialism in a local context.

Their work during the coronavirus pandemic helped the community come together in new ways, resulting in the formation of a Young Gardener’s Association and a hit online cooking show, Recipes for a Disaster, among other achievements. And, the museum is also home to a delightful geology and herb garden, bakery, cafe and museum shop.

Timespan is shortlisted for Museum of the Year 2021.

Look out for The Wild Escape at museums and galleries in the next few months. Many have special events, or you can use our audio introduction to help children get involved at any cultural venue.

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