Phil Meadows - Middlesbrough Lad Fine Art
By Robert Nichols
Tuesday 29 Oct 2019 13:50:00
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The wonderful Boro artist, Philip Meadows, is exhibiting at Palace Arts on Redcar seafront until 15th November. In The Middlesbrough Lads, Phil captures the spirit and atmosphere of old Ayresome, from the redness of the lines of brick terrace street houses to three of the individual stand roofs. The vivid green of the pitch, every child's first impression of our former ground. All caught in the four tractor beams of the corner floodlights.

Phil Meadows

He contrasts that to the bucolic scenes of the North Yorkshire Moors, Phil's escape room to roam when he was a youngster were summer holidays based on his grandparents' farm. But a bridge between town and country are the characters that inhabit these scenes, lovingly caricatured.

He has lived in Eston all his life, as a youngster Phil went to school in Grangetown so he was in and around the industrial buildings of the steel works, in fact the iconic coke ovens were just outside the school gates.

Phil served his apprenticeship at the major Teesside employer, ICI, staying with the company for 22 years. After winning a paid scholarship he studied at Cleveland College of Art before taking a Fine Arts degree at Sunderland University. He became a teacher from 1999 and retiring just last year when he has been able to devote more time to his painting.

To return to the characters that are central to Phil's compositions. The long suffering, occasionally ecstatic Boro fans are to the fore. There is a sprinkling of Teesside gadgies in flat caps walking the pavements or head down into the wind, cycling the black path home from a shift.

Palace Arts

The paintings were described at the exhibition premiere as “warm and affectionate.” It is as if he is transporting you back between those back streets where kids ask for a squeeze in at the turnstile. A watching police man has his eye on a young wannabe Boro boot boy.

You can almost smell the mixture of piped tobacco, Bovril and stale Holgate pies. To return to the address at the exhibition opening event, Phil Meadows has caught that special something of “what it means to be a Boro fan.”

The Middlesbrough Lad is free to the public – Palace Arts is opened 10-4pm Monday, Tuesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday (closed Wed and Thurs).

Esplanade. TS10 3AE

You can also view and buy prints of many of Phil's Ayresome scenes at The Art House opposite the Dorman Museum on Linthorpe Road - including this superb painting that is not included in the Redcar exhibition.

Ayresome night scene

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