Cumbria Crack

Wolves return to Grizedale courtesy of artist Sally Matthews

Sally Matthews Wolf

Sally Matthews’ poignant exhibition The Hunted runs throughout the summer during Forestry England’s centenary year. Inspired by nature and made from natural materials, her work captures the life and movement of the animals she portrays and explores the nature of their existence.

Sally first came to Grizedale Forest after her graduation in 1986 to work on her pieces Boars in Wild Boar Clearing, followed by Deer and Dogs in 1990 and Wolves in 1993. Forestry England are delighted to welcome her back again for her new exhibition The Hunted: Wolves and Deer which starts on 23 May.

Hazel Stone, Arts Development Manager at Grizedale Forest, says: “Sally’s art is deeply rooted in a sense of place; her animal forms are inspired by and based in locations integral to the meaning of her work. Wolves and deer are all part of Grizedale Forest’s history so we’re thrilled to welcome her back whilst we’re celebrating 100 years of forestry.”

Growing up surrounded by her father’s veterinary books, Sally was fascinated by anatomy from a young age and developed a natural sense of skeletal structure and form. Using this as a base, her interest lies in adding life and movement which results in almost disturbingly realistic sculptures.

Sally Matthews says: “I make and draw animals as I see them – no myth, no fairy tale. Animals that share the earth.

Wolves and deer have always been intertwined – predator and prey. Wolves have been seen as a threat to humans and their livestock for centuries, so have been demonized and persecuted. Whereas deer have been ‘sport’ and food, so have been valued and conserved.

The last wolf in England was supposedly killed in Cumbria, and Grizedale Forest holds the precious and only remaining herd of indigenous red deer in England. We are now the wolf – keeping the deer population at a healthy level within the forest to maintain balance.”

The exhibition runs from 23rd May – 29th September in Grizedale Forest.

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