Artwork made by some of the homeless people in Bath was shown in the Abbey during May this year, under the title of ‘Think Different’. It comprised drawing, painting, photography, 3D artwork, furniture restoration, craftwork, etc.
There are several agencies and organisations working with homeless-vulnerable people in Bath, some of whom include Stonham, Reach, DHI (Developing Health & Independence), Genesis Trust, Big Issue, Shape, Julian House and The Holburne Museum; the more research I do the more I discover.
As a practicing artist, and a director of Fringe Arts Bath, I am in a position to present artwork to a much wider and diverse audience than the above agencies may individually reach; therefore relocating the ‘Think Different’ show to a prime Fringe venue allowed us to extend the exposure-time into the Fringe Arts Bath Festival, and at the same time provide an insight into some of the work being carried out behind the scenes throughout the year.
The opening night, at the former ‘Officer’s Club’ retail outlet in Stall Street was due to take place between 6pm – 9pm, however the response was tremendous, over 1000 people attended during the evening and we ended up staying open untill 11pm. This enthusiasm was continued throughout the two-week FaB Festival and we received an average of 400 visitors per day.
The feedback and response from this initial pilot project has confirmed that we can build on this year’s project and take it a step further into next year.