Sally Matthews was born in Tamworth, Staffordshire in 1964. She graduated from Loughborough College of Art and Design in 1986.
Notable solo and group exhibitions include: Mixed RCA exhibition at MOMA Wales (2011); Workshops at the Sydney Nolan Trust Presteigne; Steel Donkeys for Weston Super Mare; Cast iron pit ponies for Blaenavon, South Wales; Welsh Mountain Pony - new Welsh Assembly building, Llandudno Junction (2010); Welsh Black Bull, National Botanical Garden of Wales; Exhibition, Burghley House, England (2009); Sheep, The Gibbs Collection; Red Stag, Garwnant, Forestry Commission; Wolves, Stokke,Norway (2008); Yale College, Wrexham, Residency; Fox, Leicester county council; Lincoln longwool sheep, Sustrans, Lincoln; Beacons Way Art Trail; Sheep for Parc Bryn Bach (2007); Two Steel Cows - Sustrans, Lincoln (2006); Gathering, Robert Sandleson Gallery, London (2005); Bialowieza Forest, Poland - 75th anniversary Bison Project; Bronze Sheep - Sculpture at Goodwood (2004); The Big Draw, the Natural History Museum, London; Homing, Huyton Gallery, Knowsley (2003); Peggy Guggenheim, Venice, Sculpture at Goodwood (2002).
Sally Matthews has used both domestic and wild animals throughout her work and has in the past depicted cows, goats, dogs chasing a peacock, bison, ponies, deerhounds, fallow deer and a flock of curlew. She treats her subjects in a very direct manner, wishing to express their innate qualities rather than their roles in myth or legend, or wanting to look at characteristics that may have parallels in human behaviour. An early manifestation of Sally Matthews's work in the public domain was her herd of wild boars at Grizedale Forest in 1986-89. These were made from natural materials found locally and had a disturbingly realistic presence. Matthew deliberately allows her works to return to the soil, which she has an ambivalent relationship towards as she both enjoys this natural degradation and is simultaneously remorseful at her works inevitable loss.