ARTIST Mackenzie Thorpe has donated a limited edition print to charity that celebrates the working men who made Teesside a major industrial force.
The Middlesbrough-born artist has released the print called Knights to raise funds for the Middlesbrough and Teesside Philanthropic Foundation, which helps local people in need of financial support.
He created Knights in pastel two years ago as a tribute to the men of Teesside who helped the area lead the world in iron, steel, shipbuilding and chemicals.
There will be an opportunity to bid for the number one print, which will be handembellished by the artist, at the foundation’s annual ball, Fire and Ice, which takes place at Middlesbrough Town Hall on Friday.
Showing a man on his way to work, set against the familiar industrial backdrop of Teesside, only 15 prints have been made available of the picture.
Mr Thorpe, who worked on the old Smiths Dock and in a foundry before becoming a full-time artist, said: “It’s a tribute not only to my dad and granddad, but all the working men of Teesside.
“It’s paying homage to them all – men who gave so much to make our town what it is. I would love to see this piece as a sculpture, a monument, standing about 35ft tall, and an acknowledgement to all the men that helped make this area an industrial giant.
“I see monuments of people like Bolckow and Vaughan but nothing of the working men, who gave their lives to Teesside and the industries.
There’s no recognition for them anywhere.
“My granddad – and many thousands like him – would go out to work, day and night, no matter what the weather, and never had a day on the sick.”
All profits raised from each £1,500 print will go to the foundation.
Six were sold within hours of being released.
Mr Thorpe added: “Giving these great men the recognition they deserve while raising much-needed money for this area is a perfect combination for me.
“I haven’t lost an ounce of passion for this area. It’s my identity. The first 25 years of my life was total absorption in Middlesbrough.”
To bid for the number one print of Mackenzie Thorpe’s Knights, visit teessidecharity.
org.uk. To buy any of the prints contact his studio Arthaus on 01748-823224 or email wendy@mackenzie thorpe.ne.
A few final tickets are available for Friday’s ball, with entertainment from Stokesley comedian Patrick Monaghan and “rat-pack” crooner Jason Issacs. To buy a ticket, priced £80, use the contact details on teessidecharity.org.uk