Winged Sheep at Dalby Forest

Winged Sheep by Fiona Bowley, 2020

Fiona Bowley began working with Dalby Forest through a series of public stone lettering workshops linked to the creation of the ongoing Dry Stone Wall Maze. From here the idea of a journey or more specifically a pilgrimage, a journey to a sacred place, was developed. Fiona’s work is often informed by the beauty of stone in the ancient classical world, and her sculpture for Dalby Forest references the rock carvings of the Nabateans (4th century BCE – 1st century CE), around Petra in Jordan, and Sasanian carvings in Bishapur, Iran (260CE).

The Winged Sheep for Dalby Forest stands within a small shrine (an aedicula) cut into a huge sandstone rock. A small procession of sheep, also carved directly into the rockface, bow and kneel in homage to the Winged Sheep above them.

The aedicula stands at Jerry Noddle, a fabulous viewpoint at the north eastern edge of Dalby Forest. From this elevated site there are views of sheep grazing in the fields far below, and an uninterrupted view to the east coast.

The sheep often appears in art as witness to historical events, and Bowley’s Winged Sheep bears witness to today’s events. The Winged Sheep for Dalby was made during Lockdown 1.0 (2020) and wears 14th century allegorical armour; here the armour is not to defend and protect against the Bubonic plague, but the Covid plague of the early 21st century.

Location and Visitor Information

Where to find the Winged Sheep

The sculpture is located at the Jerry Noddle viewpoint.

From the main Crosscliff car park: follow the signs for the Jerry Noddle Viewpoint Trail. When the trail brings you out on to an open crossroad, cross over to the path with a large gate across, and pass through the pedestrian access. Follow this stone road for approx. 2km – the sculpture is at the final viewpoint before the road turns sharply right.

From the disability car parking space: You are on a crossroads and will see a stone road across from where your car is parked, with a large gate across. Take this road using the pedestrian access follow this stone road for approx. 2km – the sculpture is at the final viewpoint before the road turns sharply right.

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Artist Biography

Fiona Bowley is a North Yorkshire based sculptor who uses decorative carving techniques from the classical and medieval worlds to make sculptures of the Sheep that inspire her. Bowley is interested in the devices that sculptors employ to raise the status of their subjects, such as ornamentation, posture or scale and uses these devices in her sheep sculpture; standing Sheep on magnificent plinths and carving elaborately decorated fleeces.

Bowley’s work is shown in public and private collections across the UK.

Useful Information

Dalby Forest, Dalby Forest Visitors Centre, Low Dalby, Thornton-Le-Dale, Pickering, YO18 7LT
The sculpture is available to view every day and is outdoors, the road leading to the sculpture is wheelchair accessible but is approx. 2km from the car park and the road is uneven in places.
Nearest trail: Jerry Noddle Viewpoint Trail (Yellow) and Jerry Noddle Trail (White)
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Art Map reference: Number 10