Laura Mathews

Articulated Animals

8 Sep – 4 Nov 2018

Project Space

In this exhibition we showcase the beautiful and anatomically accurate carved figures and puppets by Nottingham based Laura Mathews, of familiar and lovable animals found in the countryside.


About Laura


Laura was born in the wilderness of Lancashire where she remembers exploring dark woods and building dens with her schoolmates. The natural world was always a big part of her life and she developed a fascination with biological mechanisms and how animals work. 

She studied Decorative Arts at Nottingham Trent University and discovered the art of CAD and laser cutting, which she used to create layered joints to replicate animal elbows and knees perfectly, finally designing a range of poseable rat figures made entirely from scavenged materials.  

Moving from Nottingham to London in 2012 and missing the natural world, Laura developed her work to include horses, an animal she had always particularly loved.

"I joke that I designed the horses because I never had my own pony! So they're a low maintenance version I can still play with... and no mucking out!"

Relocating to a farm in Derbyshire inspired her to create the popular hare design after watching them endlessly play and chase each other in the springtime.

Eventually being drawn back to Nottingham, Laura now works from her studio in the city centre but lives walking distance from woodlands and waterways, a happy balance between urban convenience and natural beauty. 

 "I love Nottingham! It has a wonderful dynamic and varied art scene, but still feels a bit underground, like a bubbling cauldron of potential..." 


In October 2017 Laura began working on a realistic flying sparrow puppet, which she performed as part of Nottingham Puppet Festival in March 2018. This new direction inspired a shift in her style, and she went from using flat layers to individually carving each animal, and she continues to blur the line between sculpture and puppetry with her intricate and exquisite Pegasus creations.

"I remember my Mum having to repeatedly hide a dead blackbird I'd found in the garden. I was fascinated by the way the beautiful wings opened and closed perfectly!"