2005
Bronze
135 x 94 x 37 cm
Edition of 10

Sheep is based on the South Wales Mountain breed and Sally Matthews recognises that, "as she was making it, it took on a stronger, larger feel, probably because of the strength and character of this particular breed". Matthews usually creates flocks, herds or packs of animals, however, in choosing to create a single sheep she is presenting the onlooker with an individual, a unique character to identify with on a one-to-one basis. The white finish to the patination of the bronze adds a sense of vulnerability to the lone, unprotected creature while highlighting the celestial glow that sheep often have against the landscape. Sally Matthews has always been fascinated by her father's veterinary anatomy books and has gained great knowledge of bone and muscle structure through the study of both these books and dead animals in the flesh. It is, however, the living animal, its spirit, strength and character, that is of greatest interest to her. Constantly inspired by movements in flesh and muscle as they run, walk, lie and turn, Matthews aims to remind people of "our need for animals and the example their nature provides us with." Unsentimental in her approach, Matthews has created a piece so faithful to the living animal that it could almost be mistaken for the real thing. Stumbling across Sheep in the grounds of the Cass Sculpture Foundation, it is as though the viewer has entered the territory of the sheep, who has simply stopped to assess it's surroundings.

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About The Artist

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.

Sally Matthews

Born: 1964

Other Artworks by Sally Matthews at CASS

2001

Wolves

When invited to make a work for the Cass Sculpture Foundation, Sally Matthews wanted to do something that was subtle and…

2001

Wolf

Lurking in the undergrowth, this bronze predator stalks the woodland amongst the leafy canopy and ivy-blanketed ground. …

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