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Published 15th Nov 2017

Artist Sean Sims puts the finishing touches to the his Magical Middlesbrough Christmas artworks in the atrium at mima

An artist’s unique view of Middlesbrough’s buildings and landmarks has been given a festive twist in the run-up to Christmas.

Sean Sims’ striking images have already won plaudits after they were used on hoardings erected during the Heritage Lottery Fund refurbishment of the town Hall.

The colourful depictions capture the town’s distinctive skyline, ranging from some of Middlesbrough’s oldest buildings to more modern additions. 

And now Sean’s ‘dream commission’ has been given a decidedly wintry makeover, with the townscapes wreathed in snow and seasonal decorations as the Yuletide countdown begins in earnest.

The Magical Middlesbrough Christmas illustrations will be used to promote the Council’s festive activity around the town.

 Sean, who was born in Warren Street and grew up in Acklam, said he’d jumped at the opportunity to pay a personal tribute to the cityscapes that had provided the backcloth to his formative years.

The 53-year-old, who has also worked with the likes of The Guardian, Virgin, TUI Thompson Airlines and the BBC, said: “I grew up in Middlesbrough, it’s my home town and my heart is still here.

“As a town it’s got everything, it’s a pot of all sorts, so when I was asked to illustrate the shutters for the Palladium Shops, it was a commission I couldn’t turn down.

“It’s all about creating a positive image of the town that will be recognisable to anyone who knows and loves it, from the town centre out to the countryside and the coast.

“People in Middlesbrough are very proud of their town and all the elements that make it such a unique place.

“Middlesbrough’s really on the up at the moment, and it’s a privilege to be part of that process.”

Middlesbrough Mayor Dave Budd said: “These artworks could only have been produced by someone who knows and loves Middlesbrough, and that’s certainly true in Sean’s case.“They’re great talking points as the hoardings outside the Town Hall have already proven, with a skyline that captures every facet of the town’s rich heritage and history, right up to its vibrant present day.

“These images are a true celebration of everything that makes Middlesbrough such a special place, and I’m sure they will be enjoyed by a great many people, both residents and visitors.”

  • Sean Sims is available for commissioned work – to find out more, contact him at

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