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.