A stunning portrait of singer Kate Bush was the overall winner of the inaugural Hard Rock Cafe Manchester Art Challenge, a charity competition in aid of the Mercury Phoenix Trust.
Seven artists gathered at Hard Rock Cafe Manchester on Freddie Mercury’s birthday (September 5th) for the chance to win a limited edition Epiphone Casino guitar and a set of highly collectible Hard Rock Cafe merchandise.
Each of the seven artists was challenged to create a canvas on the theme ‘Musical Icon’ and had the freedom to life whoever inspired them; the completed canvases featured a Who’s Who of the music world – Michael Jackson, Kate Bush, Madonna, Freddie Mercury, David Bowie, Robert Plant and Ian Curtis – but ultimately it was Catherine Lansdale’s magical pastel portrait of Kate Bush which caught the judge’s imagination.
All of the artworks will now be on display in the restaurant for a week before being auctioned off to the Mercury Phoenix Trust, a charity organisation set up in Freddie Mercury’s memory to fight HIV/AIDS worldwide.
The judging panel comprised experts from the Bury Art Museum, The Lowry and Manchester Metropolitan University, who came together to decide on the winner.
James Moss, Curator of Temporary Art at The Lowry, commented: “Agreeing on a winner was an extremely hard decision to make and there were many disagreements in the panel. We’ve enjoyed speaking with the artists and uncovering their art’s interesting stories; every painting had a story to tell. We’ve loved being a part of Hard Rock Cafe Manchester’s first charity painting challenge.”
Lee Crocker from Bury Art Gallery and spokesperson for the judges commented: “All of the paintings really captured the heart and soul of the artists. I especially liked the David Bowie drawing by Sam Woodward when I learned that it was her first human portrait, given that she usually specialises in drawing dogs; this really impressed me.”
Sorcha Ní Fhlainn and Dr Emily Brick from Manchester Metropolitan University added: “We loved all of the artist’s work, they all contained such enthusiasm, but for us the Kate Bush portrait was the most celebrated piece of work. The mezzanine in the restaurant is the perfect place for such events to be held, and proved a great space to engage the artists.”
Aneta Jarzmik, General Manager at Hard Rock Cafe Manchester, commented: “We’re overwhelmed with the sense of community and inspiration that Hard Rock Cafe Manchester’s first painting challenge has initiated. Over the course of the day we’ve all become inspired by the artist’s array of different art styles, whether that be mutli-media, pastels, pencils or acrylic, and we’re excited to see what the future holds for the paintings when they’re auctioned off to the charity.”
To make your bid for the artworks email [email protected]