My interview with local Middlesbrough artist Philip Meadows.
What does Middlesbrough mean to you– I sat on top of Sydney harbour bridge and the guide said to the group Dorman Long made the steel, it was cast on a nearby girder. He asked people where they were from and I said 2 miles from where the girder was made. I now look at steelworks wherever I am in the world and you can see Middlesbrough steel all over.
Whats your favourite landmark in Middlesbrough-My favourite landmark is the Transporter Bridge in the heart of Middlesbrough ,It is ever present on the horizon.
Whats the story behind your artwork/you becoming artist ,artwork being Middlesbrough themed? My artwork is a personal nostalgia fest. I became aware that all the things that I grew up with are disappearing and I wanted to capture the way it was. I followed my dad into the gates of ICI on the first day of my apprenticeship and it was like entering a new world of sights, sounds and smells. When I look down from the Nab the factories I worked in are gone. I focus on the characters, the guys who took pigeons on baskets to release at the gate. I focus a lot on Ayresome Park. I used to go with my big brother it had such character. What I paint is the characters, the ground, the streets outside and the dads and lads going to the match. A football team used to be the heart of the community. When I went for a haircut the barber would always start with how do you think they’ll get on this Saturday.
How is your Teesside themed artwork received by people in Middlesbrough/Teesside? People have really connected with my artwork they think it represents their childhood and the town which is fantastic if you can make an image from your head and people identify with it. If people then want to buy your work I think that is the highest compliment that can be paid.
What would your advice to anyone in Middlesbrough/Teesside want a career in art? I am always keen to help people getting into art. My advice is to do what interests you. People are often put off because they draw something and then they are conscious of criticism but the best art is the art that is a personal view of the artist who portrays what they want to say in their own unique way. Think of the work of 20th century artists in galleries its not photo realism the persons view in the same way a poet puts their feelings into words. Picasso once said as a child he could draw like Raphael but it took him a lifetime to draw with the clarity of a child.
For more information on Philip Meadows artwork please see link above
Interview by Chloe Tempestoso