Life Drawing 13th June

Chorlton Alternative Art ClassFirst off, we’d like to thank everyone who came along to the art class on 30th May – we had one of our best attendances and a whole bunch of new faces! Thanks to the great turnout we’re able to put the extra money towards some more much-needed drawing boards.

We’ve got another life model confirmed for the next session which is happening on Wednesday 13th June so mark it in your diaries! As ever, materials, tea and biscuits will be provided and we look forward to seeing you there.

And here’s another date for your diary – there’s still plenty of time if you’re thinking of entering the National Open Art Competition. The deadline for submissions is 31st July and there are a host of categories and prizes from drawing to painting  and beyond, with a £1000 regional prize for the North of England. Details can be found at

Speaking of exhibitions, hold onto your favourite pictures from the class as we’re harbouring plans for an exhibition in the near future – watch this space…

Life Drawing 30th May

Nude Drawing 30th May - Chorlton Alternative Art ClassHello Chorlton arty folks! A quick reminder that the next art class will be from 7.30 – 9.30pm on Wednesday 30th May and we’re pleased to announce that we have a nude life model confirmed. As before, materials and refreshments will be provided and entry is £6.

We’re not sure which studio we’ll be occupying this week but will post it on Facebook when we know. So if we’re not in the same room as last time, don’t worry it is definitely still on and the Edge staff can point you in the right direction.

If anyone left a jumper behind last time, we’ve got it saved so please come and speak to us on Wednesday!

Pictures from May 16th sketch!

A big thank you to everyone who made it to class on Wednesday 16th May! It was good to be back again, we had a great time and Ginger La Rouge made a wonderful model. It was good to see a mix of new faces and regulars. We’re back on Wednesday 30th May with a new model – watch this space for details, coming very shortly! We were pleased to see people making full use of the materials and as ever, if anyone has any feedback, ideas or requests for materials, a model, themes, poses or anything else we encourage you to get in touch and we will do our best to make it happen. In the meantime, here’s a selection of snaps for you to enjoy  🙂

Back and Burlesque! Art Class Wednesday 16th May

Ginger La RougeHello art folks! After an extended Easter hiatus – we ate too much chocolate – we’re back, bigger and better than ever. For a special first session of the new term we’re excited to announce that you’ll have the chance to draw the lovely Ginger La Rouge, co-founder of the North West Burlesque Society! A native of Sheffield, she was awarded best newcomer in 2007, has shaken her tail feather in a host of clubs from London to Stuttgart and has kindly agreed to sit for us, ostrich feathers and all.

We’ve made a few changes to the format of the class – each session will feature a life model (or occasionally a performer), plus paper and materials will be provided. In order to cover the cost of all these goodies we’re having to charge an extra £1 per person, so it’s now £6 a session, but we’re also providing complimentary tea and biscuits om nom nom. We’re also switching to fortnightly for the time being in order to make each session extra special.

We very much hope you’ll join us for the first new Chorlton Alternative Art Class – look forward to seeing you there! All newcomers are very welcome, don’t be shy. If you’ve never drawn before we’d love to have you along.

Pictures from Weds 21st March sketch

Thanks to everyone who came along this week! Hope you enjoyed it. Your lovely drawings are posted below in glorious hipstamatic monochrome. Here’s to a great weekend – if this sunshine keeps up then we’re in for a corker. And if you’re at a loose end and a fan of real ale, my tip for the top is tomorrow’s Real Ale Festival at the Museum of Science & Industry, from noon ’til 10.30pm.

Happy weekend, hope you have a good one!

Piccies from Weds 14th March sketch

A big thanks to everyone who came along to last night’s sketch at the Edge Arts Centre! We mixed things up a bit this week – for the first hour there was a static model, then the class went up to the big rehearsal room to draw a contemporary dance class in action. It was a challenge to try and sketch dancers on the move and pushed the sketchers out of their comfort zone and into a brush with plastic dynamism. But enough waffle, here’s the latest batch of your drawings!

AWOL Studios Open Night 9th March from 4pm

Chorlton Alternative Arts
Kick off your weekend with a bang – AWOL Studios are holding their sixth Open Studios event from 4pm on Friday 9th March 2012 in association with Longevity Records and Dr.Me. It’s a great opportunity to meet a bunch of local creatives in their working environment, purchase work, be inspired, socialise and celebrate Manchester’s finest artistic talent.

Longevity Records will be showcasing some of the best local bands:

AMEB – 7:30pm
Rawcuss – 8:20pm
The Minx – 9:10pm
Seeing Hester – 10:00pm
DJ – 10:30pm ’til close

AWOL Studios is home to over 120 creative individuals and businesses practising in a diverse range of disciplines including fine art, ceramics, photography, graphics, fashion, crafts, jewellery, sculpture and many more.

AWOL Studios
Hope Mill
113 Pollard Street
Manchester M4 7JA

Get Involved!

Chorlton Alternative Art ClassThe Chorlton Alternative Arts website is open for contributions! If inspiration strikes and you feel like writing an article or post on any arts-related subject, be it philosophical, technical, topical or personal, then please do get in touch. There’s no prescribed format or word count, and every article featured will be credited to the author, with a link to their website and contact details if you so desire. Speaking of which…

Link building

Imagine your website is a town, and you’re the mayor. If you want visitors, you’ve got to build some roads to the surrounding towns. Well we’re ready to start laying some virtual asphalt if you are! We’re more than happy to feature a link to your website on our links page, and would love it if you felt like returning the favour. That way we have a chance to benefit from traffic from each other’s existing followers, as well as boosting our rankings with those pesky googlebots.

We’d love to hear your feedback on the site, anything you’d like to see included or any other improvements you suggest. There are heaps of ways to get in touch, just see our contacts page. Hope to hear from you! x

El Tren Fantasma: Live At The Bluecoat

Chorlton Alternative Art Class
by Rebecca Harvey

Even when it’s quiet, there is sound. Wind still whispers, glaciers groan and your own heart beats. No one knows this better than Chris Watson – he of Cabaret Voltaire and Natural World; a strange CV, but one entirely assembled around sound. Here is someone who walks around with his ears open, listening not just to language and music, but to the elements behind them, the mechanics and organics, recreating a new language, a new music.

His work with the BBC’s Natural history unit is well-documented (from Springwatch to Frozen Planet), but over the years he has also released collections of his own field recordings – the most recent of which is El Tren Fantasma, The Ghost Train. There have been reviews aplenty of the album itself, but last week Watson was at The Bluecoat arts centre in Liverpool to present the UK live premier of this epic train journey across Mexico, alongside a new soundtrack to an avant garde video performance piece by Gina Czarnecki.

But how would a live performance of El Tren Fantasma work? By its very nature, listening to such a submersive aural piece is very personal – and an arts centre isn’t the first place you would think to head to enjoy a solo trip along the now defunct Mexican line from Los Mochis on the Pacific West coast, to Veracruz on the East. But, as he said when introducing the piece, the sound set up and acoustics you can achieve with the space and speakers of a prepared performance studio ups the scale of what you hear. “This is the first time,” he said, “that it’s being heard in the UK the way it was intended to be heard. So sit back and imagine you’ve poured yourself a tequila sunrise, and are taking a first class seat on the ghost train.”

The intensity of sound was astounding. It backed you into a bubble that became wholly occupied by the sights and smells conjured up by the complex interweaving sounds and textures. The train becomes a giant instrument, steaming across a crease in the landscape, the ricketty-racket of the train tracking the breadth of Mexico, beating a tattoo that Aphex Twin would be proud of. Of course that breakneck beat is just a train; that multi-tonal drone is muted metal on metal, the perfect harmonics and melodies are brakes and bells and the passenger chatter-natter is singing cicadas… But the clarity of individual sounds that such a scale of presentation gives, simultaneously enhances the overall journey – you see the woods as well as the trees, and over the course of the trip through forests and mountains and cities, the sounds become more than a sum of their parts.

The only problem with the performance was the images they were presented alongside – a huge floor to ceiling projection showed stills that bore little relation to what was being heard, and which instead rudely intruded on the cocoon woven by the story of the sound – an unnecessary attempt to reduce the ambiguity of location. Take away them, and the contrived train announcements that bookended the performance (and the album), and you have something startlingly good. Speaking to him afterwards, Watson worked out that he had over 100 hours of original material to sift and shape, and to render something so perfectly structured is a real feat – made all the more impressive with live mixing on the night for a seamless 40 minutes.

Ghosts are a recurring theme in Chris Watson’s work – apart from the Ghost Train, he also did a recent Radio 4 piece on starlings in the abandoned ballroom of the West Pier in Brighton titled The Ghost Roost. He records and recreates moments as a memorial, a memory of the temporary and the no more, bottling live events in their last moments, that once captured, are extinct. The preserved remains of a moment, a raindrop, a train journey fossilised in audio.

This article originally appeared on

Read more of Rebecca’s writing at

Chen Man at the Chinese Arts Centre

Chorlton Alternative Art ClassFrom 10 February to 7 April 2012, the Chinese Arts Centre is playing host to the first UK solo exhibition by renowned Chinese photographer Chen Man.

Over the last decade Chen Man has carved out a highly successful career as one of China’s leading fashion photographers, having shot for the Chinese editions of Elle, Cosmo and Vogue as well as working on commissions for Adidas, Nike and Motorola.

Chorlton Alternative Art ClassChen Man’s style involves heavy post-production and manipulation of her photographs, producing glossy, dreamlike images – a style that has made her a firm favourite with the advertising industry as China’s consumer culture takes off.

Catch this exhibition while you can – it’s on now and up until 7 April 2012 at the Chinese Arts Centre in Manchester. Admission is free, and the Centre is open from 10am – 5pm from Tuesday to Saturday.

Chinese Arts Centre
Market Buildings
Thomas Street
M4 1EU

tel: +44 (0) 161 832 7271
fax: +44 (0) 161 832 7513

Opening Times

Tues – Sat: 10am – 5pm
Sun – Mon: Closed
Bank Holidays: Closed