Renowned artist Mackenzie Thorpe pulls into Middlesbrough Station this week for his latest eye-catching exhibition.
The Middlesbrough-born artist jumped at the offer of a new platform for his work when he was approached by Middlesbrough Council earlier this year.
He agreed to create a brand new series of posters for the historic station, reflecting the town’s history and heritage and its sense of optimism for the future.
The new artworks update pieces kindly created by fellow local artist Eamonn McGovern for the town’s city status bid in 2011 in conjunction with First Transpennine Express.
Up to 11 new pieces in poster format will be on display at Middlesbrough Station for two years from Thursday (March 26).
The pieces merge Mackenzie’s distinctive artwork with that of vintage destination posters and whilst images such as Up the Boro and Heart of the North will appeal to Middlesbrough residents in particular, visitors arriving to the town will get a taste of the area's diverse offerings.
Gateway to the Moors depicts the stunning Roseberry Topping and To Cook's Monument portrays the local landmark against a beautiful blue sky in a snowy landscape scene.
Mackenzie said: “Middlesbrough never fails to inspire me and I don’t think I will ever stop drawing it.
“Right now it feels like the town is really on the up, there is so much going on, you can really sense the optimism, so when I was asked to display some of my work as posters on Middlesbrough Station, rather use existing images I decided to create some new ones.
“The pieces reflect the area as well as giving a nod to the station and rail travel.
“I ended up creating far more than needed, so we had to choose up to 11 for the station and the rest will be on display at a public exhibition next weekend.”
Middlesbrough Council Chief Executive Mike Robinson, who is spearheading the Middlesbrough is Changing campaign, said: “The station is a major gateway to the town with more than a million passengers passing through it every year, so it has a key role to play in shaping the town’s image.
“It’s a real coup for Middlesbrough to have a local artist of Mackenzie’s standing produce original art works for the station.
“It’s an amazing achievement to have created such vibrant and inspiring pieces in such a short time and I’m sure they’ll be enjoyed by a great many people for years to come.”
Mackenzie has more images than were needed at the station, so up to 15 of the original new pieces known as the Station Posters will be on display to the general public over the weekend of March 28 and 29 in the exhibition space at Thirteen, next to Brasserie Hudson Quay on Windward Way, near Middlesbrough Football Club.
The free event will be open from 11am to 4pm each day, with the public invited to view their home town as seen through the eyes of the local artist.
Mackenzie will also be available for book signings and to meet the public over both days.
The exhibition is supported by the Tees Transporter Bridge Visitor Experience, Brasserie Hudson Quay and Thirteen.