Acclaimed local artist Richard Piers Rayner asks the question: “What do you get if you cross a Time Lord with a Football Club?”
The answer? His exhibition entitled Doctor Who and the Unseen History of Middlesbrough Football Club – all from the same drawing board.
Discover Middlesbrough and pythongallery are delighted to announce the official launch of the first ever Middlesbrough exhibition of Richard’s at pythongallery, Middlesbrough, from noon-3pm on Saturday, October 29.
(pythongallery is situated behind the Club Bongo, in Royal Middlehaven House, 21 Gosford Street, Mbro TS1 1BB)
Born and bred in the town, Richard was official artist in residence at Middlesbrough Football Club for sixteen years. He is the illustrator of Doctor Who graphic novels, award winning artist from DC and Marvel comics and illustrator of the graphic novel, Road to Perdition on which the Oscar winning motion film was based.
There are so many facets to the artist, Richard Piers Rayner, captured in his first ever exhibition in his hometown, Middlesbrough.
This is an opportunity to enjoy illustrations at close quarter, some reproduced at dramatic scale from that man that has rubbed shoulders with Tom Hanks but is equally at home capturing events down by the Riverside with the Boro.
Richard is, a third generation Boro supporter whose Grandad bought a house in Tavistock Street because of its proximity to Ayresome Park, has been attending matches since a 2-0 victory over Liverpool in the old Second Division in October, 1961.
He said: “The exhibition contains many the key moments from Boro’s history, including the only depiction you are likely to see of match action from the Linthorpe Road Ground, Boro’s home before the move to Ayresome Park at the start of last century.”
It is not all Boro and football from Richard. He illustrated the 300 pages of the graphic novel Road to Perdition that led to the faithful screen adaptation by Sam Mendes that starred Tom Hanks. His previous credits for the American publishing giant, DC Comics, include work on Hellblazer (for which he won the Best Newcomer Award at the San Diego Comic Convention in 1989), Batman, Swamp Thing, LEGION and Doctor Fate.
For Marvel Comics US, Richard illustrated Captain America: Red White and Blue, and for Marvel UK, Doctor Who: Evenings Empire. He set the latter in Middlesbrough, featuring well known landmarks in the background of the story such as, the Transporter Bridge, Linthorpe Rd and Ayresome Park. The villain’s lair is even based on the old family home in Linthorpe. This book has recently been re-published by Panini Comics and Rayner has contributed a substantial body of new material.
The unique historical narrative of Middlesbrough Football Club presented in the exhibition forms part of a collection of over 400 pieces Richard Piers Rayner has created during his 16 years as their official Artist in Residence. From 2000 to 2016 he built up an illustrated history of the club from 1876 to the present that is unprecedented.
Richard also wrote and illustrated the much coveted Middlesbrough FC: the Unseen History, published by Breedon Books in 2008. Its comic book style presentation chronicles the unseen days, forgotten heroes as well as more familiar faces and recent history from the formation of the club in 1876 to the present day.
Every piece of artwork exhibited is available in print form and enquiries should be made, either to a Gallery representative or via email to: RPRart52@gmail.com
He added: “Boro fans please drop over on the way to the home game v Bournemouth. This will be the ideal way to get in the mood before taking three points at the Riverside.”
The exhibition continues until Saturday 19th November, so plenty more time for further time travel to view the illustrations of Richard Piers Rayner.
Saturday is a real day of first because also launching on Saturday at noon is the first ever solo exhibition by noted poet/historian and personality about town p.a.morbid.
The Liminal Crawl Space is a series of darkly surreal self-portraits and will be on show until the end of the year in the upstairs gallery.