Uniersity of Bath architecture student Thibault Quinn recently joined Julian House as a volunteer. During the short time he’s been here, he’s become an invaluable member of the team in our Manvers Hostel helping to prepare and cook nutritious meals for our residents.
After witnessing the extent of homelessness in Bath, Thibault wanted to do something more to help support our clients. Being a keen artist, he decided to paint a picture of the iconic steps above our Manvers Street Hostel. He now hopes the artwork will be displayed at the Bath Society of Artists open exhibition and plans to sell the piece and donate all funds to Julian House.
We spoke to him about his artwork and how he’s finding volunteering so far.
What inspired you to paint Manvers Street?
In Bath, a town which is easy to see as idyllic and scenic, rough-sleeping is an issue that is hard to ignore. Coming from London, it’s an issue that I have been exposed to before, but one that I had not known much about beyond the surface level. That’s why I have developed an interest in the work that Julian House does at the Manvers Street Hostel, as I want to learn more about the individuals that are affected by homelessness and about those who work to support them.
What was particularly poignant about this image?
My intention with this painting was to convey the anonymity and invisibility of homelessness in Bath. Here, I have portrayed the individuals sitting on the steps of Manvers Street Baptist Church without features, evoking ghosts. There is a juxtaposition between the ecclesiastic church facade and the melancholic scene that it backdrops. The splatter effect and raw colour palette of the church create a gritty, damp and decrepit atmosphere.
What materials did you use and how long did it take?
I used acrylic paint on canvas. I enjoy painting at a large scale because I can be expressive with my brushstrokes, which I apply in several layers. I like to vary the way I apply paint, hence the drips and splatters.
What’s your plan with the painting now you’ve finished it?
I have submitted the painting for the Bath Society of Artists open exhibition, so hopefully that gets accepted and will be included in the show! I am hoping to sell the painting and have all the funds raised from its sale donated to Julian House.
You also volunteer at Julian House. What inspired you to do so?
Volunteering has always been something I have tried to invest my time in, so volunteering at Julian House provided a great opportunity to really get involved in this in the Bath community. I have a burgeoning passion for cooking, so working in the Manvers Street kitchen was an ideal way for me to learn more about the homeless problem and develop new skills.
What have you been doing and how have you found the experience?
I have been preparing meals in the kitchen at the Manvers Street kitchen, which can be quite stressful as it involves cooking for up to 30 people! I am still picking up the ropes but I am getting used to it and find it very rewarding. I can also adjust the recipes, so I can still get creative!