A passion for Middlesbrough FC has been at the heart of Nigel Downing’s work and has featured in numerous exhibitions, fanzines and publications.
Whilst at Art College in Canterbury, Boro and Ayresome Park was the subject of Downing’s degree show. The body of work was later exhibited back on Teesside at Middlesbrough Art Gallery. During five years involvement with Fly Me To The Moon, Downing’s cartoons were a mainstay of the fanzine. During the last years at Ayresome Park, Downing focused much of his time on chronicling the last days of the old stadium.
In Art of Ayresome, Downing turns attention to the emotion and structures of the soon to be lost ground, as well as to players who featured prominently in the 1994/95 promotion campaign. The familiar sight of Alan Moore setting off on a lightning run down the touchline is captured during the last Tees-Wear derby at the stadium, whilst in two pencil drawings, the movement and shape of defensive rock Steve Vickers and the diminutive Republic of Ireland winger are recreated from video stills from Ayresome’s last league match.