Terry Owen Mathews
Wildlife Sculptures in Bronze
I was bom in England in 1931, brought up in Uganda, and educated in Kenya and England. My life as a child in Uganda was enriched by my close association with my next door neighbour, Captain Charles Pitman, the renowned Chief Game Warden of that country. After I left school,which due to the war, and the lack of educational facilitities in Uganda was a mixture of schools in Uganda,Kenya and England. I too wanted to be a game warden, but when I applied to the Kenya Game Department after working for theSurvey of Kenya it was decided that I was too young and married.
So in 1956 I joined Ker & Downey Safaris Ltd. as an apprentice under Syd Downey, completing my training in 1958. After working with them for some 11 years I left in 1967 to form with my wife Jean a company"MathewsSafaris"
which is now run by our son Rick's widow Clair and her new husband Jared Crawford, with occasional help from our eldest son Glenn who was one of the last to get a professional hunters licence in Kenya, and who holds a Silver guides rating with the Kenya Professional Safari Guides Assocation, and Phil, our third son, fixed wing and helicopter pilot, who was cheif pilot for the Kenya Wildlife Service for many years, after flying for the Flying Doctors Service all over East Africa. Our other two sons Denis and Lorne are both knowledgable Safari Guides though their primary occupation is Sculpture.Jean too has a guides rating as she has spent many years in the bush and was in fact born in Kenya, and accompanied me on many trips and had a reputation as the cateress on a number of Film Productions in addition to running the Safari Company.
Since 1968, when I lost the sight in my lead eye in a shooting accident I have concentrated more on what up until that time was my secondary profession. At the instigation of Major W. G. "Johnny" Raw, the manager of Rowland Ward of Nairobi, I started having my sculpture cast in bronze. prior to that it had been merely a hobby, and were mostly in cheaper materials such as clay and latex.
After taking up casting in bronze I met and worked with well-known sculptors like John Skeaping whose work I had admired and followed as a teenager, and William Timym, Johnathan Kenworthy and Rob Glenn who I had known for many years also used the same foundry.
Also I was fortunate having the experience of being in the bush with wildlife on many photographic and collecting Safaris where I could take the time to study animals and birds, and enabled me to get the knowledge that would stand me in good stead and give me subjects to fall back on from my memory bank. Added to which my many friends all over the world that I have shared safaris with, gave me a base for my work to gain an audience.
My work has been shown in Europe, Africa and the United States,and I have been fortunate to have a number of one man exhibitions, and many lately with other contemporary artists. My work is not strictly representational, and I do take liberties where I feel they are warranted to express a mood, the movement or lack of it is more important than the anotomical detail. However my sculptures have been acquired by some of the most prestigious collections in the USA.
I like to stay close to the conversion of a working model, through the wax to the finished bronze and to this end I have worked with a number of foundries. However, since my son Denis started a foundry in Nairobi in 1987, much of my work goes through that organisation. Here it is easier to stay with a piece from the working model through all the stages to the finished bronze and its patination.
I have enjoyed receiving several commissions for large and life size pieces including a leopard, a St Bernard dog, an african elephant and a lioness. There is to me a great deal of pleasure working on the large pieces despite the extra physical exertion there is less fiddling with detail.
Wildlife being my major interest for some seventy years I have many happy and exciting memories on which to look back, and concequently have, as have many hunters before me taken a great interest in the conservation of wildlife, and that of necessity cannot be just the most obvious candidates, but must include the whole chain, from the insects in the grass to the largest mammals. We are fortunate indeed that all our sons have been or still are involved in one or more occupation that has to do with wildlife, whether depicting it or looking after it for those who come after us.
American Museum of Natural History, New York., 1971
Game Conservation International, San Antonio, Texas. 1971,73,75
Moorland Gallery, London. 1976
Incurable Collector, New York. 1977
World Wilderness Congress, Johannesburg. 1977
Game Conservation International, San Antonio. Texas 1977-79
Society of Animal Artists, San Antonio, Texas. 1980
Game Conservation International. San Antonio, Texas 1981
Game Conservation International, London. 1982
Nairobi. 1982, 1984, 1985, 1986
Game Coin International, San Antonio. 1983
Game Coin International, San Antonio 1985
Society for Wildlife Art of the Nations, London. 1985
Game Conservation International, San Antonio, Texas 1987,1989
Nairobi. 1994,1997, 2004
New York. 1997
Beverly Hills. 1998
Nairobi at Matbronze 2004
Terry Mathews has shown in over 30 exhibitions in Europe, America and Africa.
His bronzes can be seen at SWAN in Wallsworth, Gloucestershire and at Matbronze Wildlife Art Gallery, Kifaru Lane, Nairobi as well as Harrison Galleries in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
Support for Conservation:
Terry is a strong supporter of conservation organizations, having contributed many bronzes to a number of conservation organizations including: Game Conservation International (contributed ten bronzes), Friends of Conservation, Kuki Gallmann's Ranch, The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, Rhino Rescue, Rhino Ark, Kenya Wildlife Service, Nairobi National Park, East African Wildlife Society, Cullman & Hurt Community Wildlife Project (Terry was Vice Chairman for a number of years and contributed three bronzes ) and, World Wide Fund for Nature.
In addition he is on the Advisory Committee of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and in 1990 donated a full size Rhino Cow and Calf to act as a begging bowl for the Rhino Conservation Movement which now stands at the entrance to the Nairobi National Park.
Later Terry was commissioned by the WWF and the East Africa Wildlife Society to build a monument to the burning of the ivory. The bronze was cast by Terry's son Denis in Nairobi and provided at cost. It now stands at the site of the original burning of the 12 tons of ivory.
- 2005 - Worldwide Nature Artists Group
The Worldwide Nature Artists Group is an international, non-profit organization of world-class artists who share a common interest in nature art and nature conservancy.
- Society of Animal Artists
The Society of Animal Artists is an association of animal and wildlife painters and sculptors. Founded in 1960, the Society is devoted to promoting excellence in the portrayal of the creatures sharing our planet, and to the education of the public through its informative art seminars, lectures and teaching demonstrations.