Mackenzie talks to BBC Radio 4 Saturday Live

Mackenzie Thorpe was recently invited to take part on BBC Radio 4’s prestigious Saturday Live to talk about his career and his 30th anniversary as an artist.

Interviewed by Kate Silverton, Mackenzie spoke about his passion for Middlesbrough, representing working men with his art, particularly the painting and sculpture of Waiting for Me Dad, and how his early life experiences shaped him as an artist.

You can listen to a clip from the programme below.


Asked if there was anything that inspired him to become an artist, Mackenzie explained that it is something that is innate in him.

“I’m doing now what I’ve done since I was born. I have no memory without me drawing or painting on something, with stones on the street,” he said.

Talking about his sculpture at the Tees Transporter Bridge which was unveiled as part of his 30th anniversary celebrations in April this year, Mackenzie said he took inspiration from his Dad and other working men.

“I wanted to make monuments for the working man. The men who built the bridges and these ships and put food on the table. And there isn’t any, there’s no acknowledgement of these people.”

“My Dad died, he’s joined all of these men,” Mackenzie explained. “They all used to come over the Transporter Bridge after work on a Friday night, and it’s cold. And so, I can’t touch him anymore, I can’t put my hand in his hand.

“What I believe is, if I keep standing there, no matter how long it takes, I’ll hold his hand.

“So I drew that picture and built that sculpture, which is now resting at the Transporter Bridge and I watch as the men, every day come over that bridge.”

Following the interview the BBC described Mackenzie as a ‘soul painter’.

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