Mackenzie Thorpe

Managing a homecoming exhibition for an acclaimed artist

Acclaimed artist Mackenzie Thorpe was approached by Middlesbrough Council to create a number of unique pieces to display at Middlesbrough Railway Station for 2 years.

The Middlesbrough-born artist jumped at the offer of a new platform for his work. He was so driven by his love for his hometown he created 17 new pieces, 12 of which were displayed at the station. All the pieces reflected the town’s history and heritage and its sense of optimism for the future.

The town’s love of football, industrial heritage and beautiful coast and country were encapsulated in the works. It included ‘Up the Boro’ and 'Heart of the North' as well as ‘Gateway to the Moors’ depicting Roseberry Topping and ‘To Cooks Monument’.

Our brief was to deliver a series of events to raise the profile of the exhibition. Mackenzie's work has been shown as far afield as the US, Australia and Japan but this exhibition was special as Middlesbrough will always be home for him and he was displaying his love for the town.

The Creative Alchemist created a series of 3 events that included an official media launch at Middlesbrough Station followed by a VIP audience with Mackenzie and a two-day public exhibition of all the original artwork. Mackenzie was also available for book signings and to meet the public over both days. 

We liaised with the artist and the Council to curate and deliver a full event management service. This included location sourcing, managing suppliers, script writing, technical set-up, health & safety, logistics, administration, marketing and budget control. Extensive press coverage was achieved in the local and regional media. Over 2,500 visitors attended the public exhibition over both days.

Mackenzie said: “I have always been a great fan of railway posters and who would have thought that me, a boy from the Boro, gets my work hung in my hometown railway station.

“It's a real honour because Middlesbrough station is the place I have started and finished so many memorable journeys.

“I’m told over 1 million people a year pass through the station and will see this work.  For many it will be their first view of the town. As an artist from Middlesbrough you can’t ask for more than that, that’s worth living for.”