Winner if the Brighton Fringe Visual Arts Award in Association with HOUSE and AOH.
MOOP is a new kind of museum that tells the stories of ordinary people, exploring and considering the magic and mundanity of ordinary life, chronicling hidden narratives and celebrating the ripples that we leave behind. It serves as an antidote to celebrity mania and the pervasive cultural construct of presenting picture-perfect versions of our lives. It is also a direct rebellion against an already well-established canon of museums celebrating the lives of the elite. MOOP is a temporary / pop-up museum running for one week during the Brighton Fringe Festival presenting collections created by and about ordinary people, as part of a wider programme of events that includes performances, talks and workshops.
30 May - 4 June | 11:00 to 18:00 | Entrance by Donation
My Father’s Footsteps Live Performance
30 May, 1 & 2 June | 14:00 to 14.30 | Part of Main Museum
Children of the Future! Letter and Diary Writing Workshop for Younger Ones (7-12yr)
1 June | 11.00-12.00 | Entrance by Donation - Ticketed
Night at the Museum of Ordinary People with Miss Represented
1 June | 8:00–23:30 | Entrance by Donation - Ticketed
Jazzing Up Your Journal Workshop for Adults
2 June | 15.30-17.00 | Entrance by Donation - Ticketed
In Conversation With: Museum of Ordinary People and Friends
2 June | 18:00–23:30 | Entrance by Donation - Ticketed
All taking place at The Spire, Brighton, BN2 5JN
The Story of MOOP
In 2016 theatre practitioner and company director Jolie Booth developed her first and critically acclaimed one-woman-show HIP. Produced under her company name Kriya Arts - a cutting edge arts and production company, HIP explored the life of an ordinary woman named Anne Clarke, whom Jolie had discovered through found objects left behind in a flat she squatted in 2002. The flat had been left empty for over a decade and had become a magical time capsule back to the 1980's and 1970's.
A year later, based on further discoveries made about Anne's life and the city of Brighton they had both inhabited at different times in history, Jolie created an interactive walking tour called the Hip Trip of Brighton: A Psychedelic Wander, which explored Anne's Brighton by sharing with participants the places where the beatniks, hippies and punks had hung out and a little about what they'd got up to.
Lucy Malone came on one of these walking-tours and afterwards in the pub Jolie shared with her an idea she'd been mulling over for some time of creating a Museum of Ordinary People. A permanent space where people who had found or inherited an archive of documents or objects could explore and share that person's story.
This idea resonated with Lucy because she was also creating work along a similar theme. When Lucy's mother passed away suddenly in 2011 Lucy inherited all of her belongings. For five years these remained in boxes, until as her final project / dissertation on her BA in Psychosocial Studies at Birkbeck College; Lucy opened the boxes and discovered what was in the notebooks, envelopes and lists, in order to assemble an archive of her mother's artistic practice, creating a research project and art piece which combined practice-based research methodologies to look at memory, loss, grief and materiality.
When speaking to each other in the pub after the walking tour, back in May 2017, Jolie and Lucy realised there were many parallels between their work and both became excited at the prospect of working together. They began to meet regularly and dream, over many hot chocolates, how to get this exciting project off the ground... Thus, this pop-up version of MOOP was born... With much bigger dreams to follow.
What's happened so far?
Through a public call-out we found nine participants with collections of letters, diaries, documents, found objects and random artefacts that tell a story they wanted to explore further. We then invited them to take part in a series of free workshops. These workshops tutored the participants in creative methods to explore, present and exhibit their collections. It is these collections that you will be seeing today presented at MOOP. They serve to chronicle migrations, loss, health issues, great loves, addictions, family ties, uncompromising silences, political injustices and everything in between...
Our next pop-up event will be taking place in October, focusing on the theme of hoarding. The desire for some people to hoard and collect certain objects is fascinating and as with our current pop-up exhibition we hope that this project will encourage discussion and reflection not only on the fragility of human lives but also on the political, social, and cultural circumstances surrounding the stories being told.
We are also going to be running a series of participatory talks around contemporary issues such as collecting, museums, everyday life and more….
Beyond this we will be taking our pop-up museum and collections on tour to other cities in the UK and around the world, seeking to challenge common perceptions of the role of museums in society.
In the larger picture we aim to find a permanent home for the Museum of Ordinary People and are looking for premises. Our dream is to become one of Europe's most innovative museums.
Street Scaffolding, Nicholas Bartlett (NPB88), Love Campers, The Military Man & Birkbeck College.
With special thanks to…
Rose Dykins, Mish Maudsley, Faith Dodkins, David Sheppeard, Laptop Chap, Ramsay James, Ingrid Wakeling, Simon Booth and all our lovely volunteers.
Karen Dunnell, Nicholas Peter Bartlett and Paul Stewart
And our supporters:
Chris Callard, Krystle Burke, Sally Trivett, Deborah Leighton Plom, Victoria Hueber, Sharon Scaife, Chris Carr, Carmen Talbot, Catherine Swann, Amanda Rivers, Marie Danielle, Barbara Duffy, Katie Gorman, Marion, Lidwine Titli, Claus Sprotte Kofod, Bruce Knight, Jane Church, Sue Breakell, Michael Whitehouse, Dan Hope, Rose Turner, Pati Puente Jemima Queen, Alice O'Hanlon, Clare Burgess, Jackie Blake, Mike Marlor, Hayley Watson, Adele Walshe, Ruth Edwina Herbert, Emily Hecht, Holly Hardy, Jessica Cheetham, Michael and Liz, Jo Henderson, Esther Gill, Vahsti Hale, Summer Dean, Charlotte Mears, Ian Blamire, Laura Napier, Daryl Jackson, Sarah Locke, Joe Sharp, Richard Martin, Julie Hudson, Lauren Gallagher, Melody Razak, Paul Crowe, Matthew Birchall, Lynne Pike, Kate Edwards, Becca Flint, Todd Render, Felicity Carter, Sammy Goodall, Rebecca Sands, Gemma Wallace, Nicci Wonnacott, Anan Danugrah, Valerie Titli, Jess Lebon, Epha Roe, Leo Brown, Penny Swainson, Danny, Mark, Jacqui Bassett, Akasha S. Hodge, Clara Gutteridge, Theresa Pierce, Andy Pierce, Zoe Adler, Dave Robinson, Megan Kieran, Taji Nuvtej, Beth Hale, Jackie Holmes, Nicci Wonnacott, Emma Owen, Holly Hassan, Jenny, Kate Hill, Catherine Rees, Gemma Ashdown.