Mackenzie Thorpe Biography

Mackenzie Thorpe, born 1956, Middlesbrought, North Yorkshire, England.

Born as the first of seven children into the post-war industrial town, Thorpe initially took on work in the shipyards, such were his familial origins. A suggestion from a friend, however, encouraged him to try to pursue his first love, drawing and painting, at art school.

Thorpe applied in 1977 to study at the local Cleveland College of Art, leaving two years later for the Byam Shaw College of Art in London, and a fine arts degree. Post-graduation in 1982 he remained in the capital to the aid of disadvantaged children but motivated by a desire to provide a better environment for his children to grow up in returned with his family to the North East in 1989.

His works are associated with a principle of "Art from the heart" - combining tenderness with fervency through his abstract depictions of animals and children. His work is wide ranging from the accessible 'square sheep' and duffle coat boys to more challenging work focusing on isolation and mans struggle. Much of his work depicts his childhood growing up in Middlesbrough. Thorpe was awarded the title of best-selling artist in England in 2000.

Thorpe also holds an honorary Master of Arts degree, collected in 2000 from his hometown's University of Teesside. In addition, Thorpe's and Arthaus' wish to support 'good causes' culminated in the launch of the Mackenzie Thorpe Foundation, in 2005. In October 2006 Thorpe produced an exhibition of outdoor monumental sculptures in Kansas City, Missouri and intends to take similar concepts to New Zealand, Australia and the UK.