Born in Liverpool, but brought up in Yorkshire, Mackenzie studied at the Liverpool College of Art after war service. He was a successful teacher and artist who moved down from the North of England to Cornwall in 1951 and then to Newlyn two years later. He became involved in the later school of Newlyn artists based in West Cornwall during the 1950's and with artists such as Denis Mitchell and John Wells.
He taught at Penzance becoming Head of the Fine Art Department at Plymouth College of Art and exhibited with the Penwith Society becoming a member in 1952. He exhibited at the Whitechapel and Bradford Art Galleries, the New Art Centre, in the provinces and abroad. Mackenzie had a series of one-man exhibitions at the Waddington Galleries, the City Art Centre in Plymouth and the Durlacher Gallery in New York.
His works are held in private and public collections both nationally and internationally, including the Arts Council and the Gulbenkian Foundation.
signed, titled and dated 1960 verso
The George Dannatt Collection to 2015
During the 1950’s and early 1960’s Mackenzie used passages of texture in rhythmical compositions of lines, bars and circular forms. Like much of his mature, abstract style it speaks of the sensation of landscape, of moving through it and over it. Its rich palette resonates a warmth that was lacking in many of his associates. The Levant Zawn is a cliff formation near the old mines north of St. Just, often painted by Mackenzie and other Cornish artists including John Tunnard.