Bramley resident opens their home to first visit from a new travelling museum

Artist Joshua Soafer with his touring museum in a house in Bramley. Photo: Noah Roberts

By Noah Roberts

Are you a collector? Imagine if what you collect became artefacts in a travelling museum that visits people’s homes.

Well, this is exactly what happened to Tracey Dixon of Bramley, who is a Buffy Vampire Slayer enthusiast who worked with artist Joshua Soafer to create a bespoke object for the travelling museum. 

‘Museums in people’s homes’ was the vision of Peter Reed, director of Compass Festival, a Leeds-based live arts festival, and artist Joshua Soafer.

Prior to pandemic Joshua spent time visiting Leeds people documenting the personal stories behind their collections. People donated treasured objects to be used as artefacts in this unique live art experience. 

Tracey has a whole room at home dedicated to a Buffy collection and said: “I recall Joshua asking if there was anything from the Buffyverse I could bring into the real world, what would it be?, and I said ‘magic; with the sole aim of helping people to learn to appreciate the differences, and understand the oppressions that minorities today face’. Together we created a Buffy ‘spell kit’ specifically for that purpose, with a spell/poem I wrote.”

A museum in your home. Photo: Noah Roberts

Joshua created a spell cloth and five symbolic items were after working together with Tracey on the concept. Tracey said it was great fun to be part of the art project. 

As part of the art project Joshua worked with Play UK to design a custom piece of furniture in which to display everything he had curated. 

Sadly the project had to paused due to covid lockdown and restrictions and was unable to visit people’s homes. After much anticipation the project was officially launched this summer, where people could book to have the museum visit their own home.  

The first successful visit of the museum happened on a sunny Sunday afternoon to a home in Bramley. The museum was delivered in parts – it has six levels that stack up, brought into the house from a van on the street and swiftly put together within the resident’s front room.

Joshua is the exuberant tour guide who invites you to choose an object from the lighted display cubes carefully housing the artefacts. Joshua provides his own platform by wearing a pair of six-inch platform Japanese sandals. He is also able to stand inside the frame of the museum which is the size of large fridge and place a shelf across his waist so he can showcase to the audience each objects story. 

And no museum trip is complete without a trip to the café for a cup of tea and a visit to the shop where you can buy memorabilia from the museum. This museum may be modest in size but the experience was an unforgettable one. 

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