We are all about making previously ignored or erased lives visible – the sections of society that have been left out of traditional museum narratives.
We work with local people to creatively explore collections of objects that belong to ordinary people – diaries, documents, love letters photographs and more.
The results of this practice become the exhibits and installations displayed in our ‘pop-up’ museum. Revealing the power and ability of objects to tell ordinary people's stories. We are all about making visible previously ignored or erased lives – the sections of society that have been left out of traditional museum narratives.
Our first pop-up museum took place at The Spire during the Brighton Fringe Festival in 2018, where we won the Brighton Fringe Visual Arts Award in Association with HOUSE and AOH.
Next up we created MINI MOOP: CHRISTMAS, which took place at the Jubilee Library in Brighton and ran throughout December 2018, with free admission during normal library opening hours. MINI MOOP gathered objects from the public that represented people’s feelings towards and experiences of Christmas, captured Brighton Christmas traditions and told stories about Brightonians that had links to Christmas.
Then we ran a series of events throughout the Brighton Fringe Festival in May 2019 called MOOP: STORIES at the Phoenix Brighton.
MOOP returned to delve deeper into the exhibitions of our award-winning museum in 2018.
We invited audiences to spend an evening learning more about the real people’s stories behind these exhibitions, as the artists behind them re-imagined their pieces in a live, ephemeral format – be it a video installation, a talk or a performance.
Each evening we had a different theme that tied the pieces together: FOUND, CONNECTED and LEGACY.
Together we discovered the journey that each participant went on to create their exhibition. How it felt to be telling someone else’s story through artefacts, documents and objects, and presenting the collection within the Museum of Ordinary People.
Exploring deeper themes that arise in the museum
Recurring themes keep arising during the creation of MOOP’s work and talks are a valuable way of exploring these elements at a deeper level, inviting experts and interested parties to take part in short presentations, panel discussions and activities that allow all present to contribute their thoughts and visions.
To date our talks have included MOOP TALK: MUSEUM at St Augustine’s Chapel, which discussed the future of museums with speakers: Edith Ojo and Tshepo Skwambane from Fashioning Africa, Richard Martin from The Tate and E-J Scott from The Museum of Transology. MOOP TALK: ACTION at The Spire, which discussed the power of community action with speakers Park Life: Save Our Parks, Brighton Table Tennis Club, Brighton Migrant Solidarity and #LWithTheT.
Responding to found and everyday objects
MOOP creates workshops that support participants to find creative ways to respond to everyday objects. Teaching museum and archiving theory, studying artists work and practice based sessions where participants are introduced to creative skills for exploring their objects or collections. These workshops are for members of the public or can be used as launch pads for discussion at an event.
The first ‘pop-up” museum was filled with installations/exhibits created by participants following a 6 week programme of thes workshops. Working with guest speakers, visiting artists and ourselves and leading to powerful work. We have also developed bespoke workshops for events including Brighton’s Chamber of Commerce ‘Look Up’ Summit, where MOOP created an interactive event during which participants expressed questions or requests for their businesses through found objects. These objects were made into an interactive museum exhibition that people could peruse and then respond to with answers, their own queries, or attach business cards in response to people whom they felt they could help. This created a totally new and unique way of networking.