Updated: Wednesday, 26th February 2020 @ 2:34pm

Masterpieces created before your eyes: UK's 'bravest artists' compete in Art Battle at Northern Quarter 2022NQ

Masterpieces created before your eyes: UK's 'bravest artists' compete in Art Battle at Northern Quarter 2022NQ

By Ella Murphy

Some of the UK’s ‘bravest artists’ are coming together to create their art before people’s eyes in Northern Quarter cafe bar 2022NQ next month.

Art Battle – a charity competition – will see both artists and art lovers flock to watch the evolution of masterpieces being created before their very own eyes – all within a strict 30 minute time limit.

Not only do the onlookers get to enjoy viewing the progression of the pieces but they are also responsible for voting for their favourite creation, to decide which artist should continue to the final, at the end of each round.

John Macaulay, co-creator of the event to be hosted on September 12, said “There’s an eclectic mix of artists travelling to Manchester from across the country for the first Art Battle, each of whom will be laying themselves bare by revealing every intimate detail of their creative process.”

The list of competitors includes reformed Manchester criminal-turned-artist Graham Hudson who has reinvented himself as the Creative Programmes Manager at local charity Mustard Tree.

Mr Hudson grew up with hopes of becoming an artist but, after a turbulent life plagued with crime, spent more than 11 years behind bars for offences ranging from dealing class A drugs to firearms.

 Whilst in prison he painted, sculpted in addition to sketching and Graham Hudson believes Mustard Tree became a life-line when resurrecting his artistic vision.

Mustard Tree, who works with the homeless and disregarded members of society across Greater Manchester, is the nominated charity for the first Art Battle Manchester.

Mr Graham said: “We’re thrilled to be the charity partner for the city’s first Art Battle. It promises to be an evening of great art, great company and a great vibe. I’m not at all fazed by taking part, but I’ve booked the following week off work as a stress precaution!”

All of the work created on the night will be put on sale through a silent auction, of which the proceeds will be divided between artists and Mustard Tree. 

The event is hoping to spawn some ‘Art Stars’ by combining friendly rivalry between artists and close proximity of the audience.

The evening is the idea and first project of native Didsbury couple John Macaulay and Sophie McNeill.

Both have expertise in art as Mr Macaulay is a cultural events specialist, who was behind last year’s Greater Manchester Film Festival and Music For Cities gig at Manchester Cathedral, while Ms McNeill is a keen artist and art historian.

Sophie McNeill said: “I’ve never worked with John before, so hopefully it will only be the artists who end up battling!”

For tickets and further information including artist profiles visit: https://www.facebook.com/ArtBattleManchester

Picture courtesy of Art Battle and Danny Cawley via Facebook, with thanks.

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