Immersive Brighton exhibiton celebrates the hidden stories in everyday lives

A new immersive exhibition launched as part of Brighton Festival by the Museum of Ordinary People will celebrate the hidden stories in everyday lives.


The Museum of Ordinary People (MOOP) is an award-winning pop-up museum that celebrates the ripples people leave behind, telling hidden stories using everyday objects.

As part of the Brighton Festival 2021, MOOP will be launching HOME, presenting “fascinating, heart-breaking and uplifting stories of ordinary people.”

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The exhibition is online until May 19 via an immersive website and then will be on show at Phoenix Art Space in Brighton from May 20-June 6.

A row of terraced houses used to stand where Brighton’s Phoenix Gallery is now. In the 60s, they were bought and demolished to make way for office space. Apart from one. Harriet Silvester – who lived in the middle – refused to move out of her home.

HOME will be exhibited in the same space in Phoenix Gallery where Harriet’s house once stood.

There will be an exhibit created by artist Summer Dean in response to Harriet’s personal history and connection with the building.

MOOP co-founder Lucy Malone said: “The concept of the HOME exhibition reflects MOOP’s fascination with the magic in the mundane everyday objects and the value of personal stories and histories.

“MOOP, together with immersive tech company Mnemoscene, have collaborated with members of the public to explore how their collections of everyday objects, photos and documents can be curated to represent our emotional connection with the home and showcase untold narratives that chronicle real people’s lives.

“Lockdown has also given a whole new layer of meaning to how we all associate with the idea of home. For many, it means something completely different from what it did 12 months ago.

“To curate the exhibition, MOOP hosted workshops with members of the public in Brighton, based around the same space at the Phoenix where Harriet’s House once stood.

“Participants shared their collections and worked with MOOP to unearth the stories and personal histories behind them.

“When the UK went into lockdown in March 2020 the group met up virtually via Zoom to continue the process. The stories some of them tell have been altered by their experiences throughout 2020.”

Lucy added: “MOOP exhibitions make visible previously ignored or erased lives – the sections of society that have been left out of traditional museum narratives.

“It’s important to do this to challenge what’s seen as worthy of being collected, whose stories and experiences are represented and remembered and whose voices are being heard.

“MOOP is a museum of the future. We believe museums should be able to respond to history as it happens – and being a pop-up museum means we can stay agile and mobilise quickly to record and collect everyday artefacts of contemporary culture that may otherwise be overlooked by institutions.”

Participant Hannah Adams will be exhibiting her brother Sam’s artwork, which she’s reimagined through her own creative journey.”