After leaving school with no formal qualifications, Mackenzie Thorpe has gone on to become one of Britain's most collectable artists, with fans including JK Rowling and even Queen Elizabeth II.
Mackenzie grew up in the industrial town of Middlesborough, North Yorkshire, where his father was a labourer and his mother was an auxiliary nurse. Like many of the families in their community, life was sometimes a struggle.
From an early age, his compulsion to draw blossomed and he sought out any materials he could find, including cigarette packets and eye shadow or lipstick stolen from his mother's makeup bag. His art also gave him the confidence he lacked after suffering from dyslexia throughout his childhood.
Despite Mackenzie's lack of education and difficulty reading the application form, the strength of his work and his obvious enthusiasm won him a place at Middlesborough College of Art and subsequently the Byam Shaw School of Art. He then spent several years working with inner city children in London before setting up his own gallery.
His art draws upon universal themes which unite us all, including love, life, sorrow and hope.
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