Mackenzie acknowledges mixed emotions about his childhood. He remembers the strong feeling of community spirit, the strength of individual characters, the warmth and humour that flourished in the face of adversity, in the most unlikely of settings. He has also not forgotten the loneliness and isolation, the fear and the darkness that was ever present, waiting it seemed in every shadow. The vivid reality of these barely faded memories is apparent in some of Mackenzie’s works.
The need and compulsion to draw was obvious from an early age, he would seek out and create with whatever raw materials he could find. Life for most people was about struggle and survival. Mackenzie’s driving force was always to draw. He did not, could not, question this need. It is a need that remains with him today.