Internationally renowned artist Mackenzie Thorpe was raised in the industrial town of Middlesbrough in the 1950s, where his father worked as a laborer and his mother as an auxiliary nurse. Mackenzie acknowledges mixed emotions about this period in his life. He remembers the strong feeling of community spirit, the warmth and humor that flourished in the face of adversity, as well as the loneliness and isolation.

Mackenzie eventually got the courage to enter the local art college. His lack of education and a barely readable application did nothing to warrant support, but the strength and volume of work that Mackenzie presented, coupled with his enthusiasm and commitment, won him a place at the Middlesbrough College of Art and, subsequently, the Byam Shaw School of Art in London.

Mackenzie's perspective on life is clear. He doesn’t hide the fact that often life is a struggle, a dark tunnel which can seem endless. However, he passionately believes that our frail dreams are worth nurturing and that love and honesty will triumph over adversity.