Find out more about the judges for STart (South Tees art competition) 2021.

The judging line up includes an accomplished local artist Mackenzie Thorpe, who designed the trust’s “People’s Medal”, along with local contemporary artist Sarah Cooney and professional fine art painter, Julia Borodina, originally from Tobolsk in Western Siberia, Russia, but now based in the north.

Mackenzie Thorpe

Mackenzie Thorpe holding the badge he designed for trust staff

Born in Middlesbrough, Mackenzie Thorpe is an artist who has been hailed as “a global art phenomenon”, credited with changing the face of art publishing within the UK.

Mackenzie first became famous for his iconic “Square Sheep”, but over the years he has established a number of other much-loved and distinctive genres such as the “Duffle Coat Child”, “Big Heads”, “Love” and of course the “Industrial” artwork born out of his Middlesbrough roots.

Mackenzie Thorpe’s artwork is renowned for being accessible to all, with followers of his work spanning from Yorkshire to Chicago, Japan to Liverpool. Some more familiar collectors of his work are Actor Tom Hardy, Author JK Rowling and Queen Elizabeth II to name a few. Mackenzie has also undertaken many prestigious commissions for clients which range from The Andre Agassi Foundation, the Elton John Aids Foundation, Princess Anne and William Hague.

Mackenzie has recently designed the People’s Medal pin for South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust staff as a heartfelt thanks for all their incredible efforts during coronavirus pandemic.

Sarah Cooney

Sarah Cooney

Sarah Cooney is a Tees Valley based artist. She completed her MA in Painting at the Royal College of Art, London in 2008.

Recent exhibitions include: Legacy: 50 Years of Painting in the Tees Valley, The Auxiliary, Middlesbrough (2019); Creekside Open Selected by Brian Griffiths, APT Gallery, London (2018); Beep Painting Prize Exhibition, Swansea College of Arts (2018); Colour Code, Cupola Gallery, Sheffield (2017); Making a Scene, NN Contemporary Art Project Space, Northampton (2016); The Trouble with Painting Today (curated by Hannah Conroy), Pump House Gallery London (2014).

In 2020 her painting ‘Evelina’ was acquired by MIMA, Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art through the Tees Valley Response Collecting initiative.

Julia Borodina

Julia Borodina

Julia Borodina is a professional fine art painter originally from Tobolsk in Western Siberia, Russia, now based in West Yorkshire.

She graduated from Omsk University with a Fine Art Degree before completing a Masters in Painting here in the UK.

Exhibiting throughout the country and abroad including the Annual Exhibitions of the Royal Society of Painters in Water colour, the Royal Society of Marine Artists, the Society of Women Artists in London and National Watercolour Exhibition in Russia.

Julia usually works from her studio at the Creative Arts Hub in Mirfield, south Leeds or paint outdoors at various locations depending on the season.