Diaries Magazine

What The Heck Is An Art Battle?

Posted on the 08 May 2019 by Rachael Dunne @WhatRachDidNext

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What the heck is an ‘Art Battle’? Was the question I asked my hairdresser a few months back when she told me that’s where she was going that evening after cutting my hair. She made it sound so exciting that once she’d explained it to me, I was just dying to experience it for myself! I raced home to research it, followed the Art Battle Manchester Facebook page and kept a watchful eye out for tickets.

So basically, the way the event works is this…

  • The show features 10 artists
  • Five of the artists get up on stage and have 30 minutes to create a work of art
  • Once the 30 minutes are up, the audience vote for their favourite by throwing gambling chips into a bucket next to their chosen artist’s easel
  • Everyone breaks for refreshments whilst the votes are counted
  • The second group of artists take to the stage for another round of 30 minutes
  • The audience vote for their favourite from the second round
  • There is another break while the votes are counted & the finalist’s works of art are exhibited on stage
  • The audience vote for a winner
  • The show ends with a presentation for the winners and a chance for members of the audience to purchase the works of art via silent auction
What The Heck Is An Art Battle?

Artists go head to head and ‘In At The Deep End’ at the Art Battle, Manchester

" data-orig-size="1000,751" sizes="(max-width: 1000px) 100vw, 1000px" aperture="aperture" />Suzie Hulmes and Ben Gardener battling it out in Victoria Baths, Manchester

A Feast For All The Senses

The venue changes every time and the theme fits with the venue. The Art Battle I attended was at the iconic Victoria Baths with the theme, ‘In At The Deep End’. Victoria Baths was such a fantastic venue for this event and every inch of this stunning, Victorian building was put to good use.

Various street food stalls and a bar were set out in the main hall whilst the battle itself took place in the pool. Yes, the actual pool! It was dry, of course but the entire venue was lit with blue light which gave it a very watery feel.

What The Heck Is An Art Battle?

An aerial view of the ‘Art Battle’ – In At The Deep End, in Victoria Baths, Manchester

" data-orig-size="1000,750" sizes="(max-width: 1000px) 100vw, 1000px" aperture="aperture" />An aerial view of the ‘Art Battle’ from the balcony above pool

Spectators were invited into the empty pool space to watch the artists. It was also possible to get an aerial view of the entire show from the balcony above.

Music was provided before the event and during the intervals by the fabulously talented Mr. Wilson’s Second Liners! If you’ve never heard of them, they’re a marching brass band who play dance anthems. No, it shouldn’t work but it really really does!

What The Heck Is An Art Battle?

Dance anthems played by Mr Wilson’s Second Liners, marching brass band

" data-orig-size="1000,1000" sizes="(max-width: 1000px) 100vw, 1000px" aperture="aperture" />Dance anthems played by the hugely talented Mr Wilson’s Second Liners

I have absolutely no idea what the cabaret act was called but they were quite delightful! The male of the group was a contortionist and gave a very impressive performance during the interval. It’s hard to articulate what the women’s act was. They just kind of ‘appeared’ every now and then. Either giggling behind changing room curtains or doing stretches around the pool. This was a lot funnier than it sounds, it’s just not easy to describe.

What The Heck Is An Art Battle?

Look who we spotted in the changing rooms at Victoria Baths!

" aperture="aperture" />Bathing beauties spotted in the changing rooms at Victoria Baths

A Thoroughly Entertaining Evening!

If you’re even vaguely interested in art, music or just fancy a night out that’s a little bit different, I strongly urge you to get tickets for the next event. I’m afraid I can’t tell you when or where it is likely to be. Just follow them on Facebook and buy tickets the moment the next event is announced. The last one sold out within a few weeks so tickets for the next one are sure to fly!

Have you experienced an ‘Art Battle’ in Manchester or anywhere else? Or have you been to any other unusual events? Please leave your comments below, I’d love to hear what you’ve all been up to!

Rach x

This article first appeared on whatrachdidnext.co.uk. If you enjoyed reading it or find it useful, I would love it if you would link to it or share it on social media but please don’t copy my work. All pictures are taken by me and all words and opinions are my own, unless otherwise stated.

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