Project overview

Wolf ✝ (Carrauntoohil, 1750), is an intervention project that involves the clandestine transfer of a skull of an Iberian wolf to Ireland and it being placed on a memorial-landmark in the vicinity of Carrauntoohil, the highest mountain in the country and one of the places where some of the last wolves in Ireland disappeared around the year 1750.

The project will include:

Preliminary phase with transfers, documentation and research.

Intervention phase with a stay and fieldwork in the area, implementation and monitoring of the intervention.

Dissemination phase.


1. Preliminary work:

1.1. Discovery and recovery of the skull and transfer to Ireland.

In 2008 a friend gave me a few photographs of a dead Iberian wolf that had been run over on a road.

The wolf had been later buried there by a group of police officers. We knew where the exact spot was and a few months later we unearthed the body and took the skull.

In 2011, the skull was transferred to Ireland, where it is today.

In March 2014, the first contacts were made in Ireland to present the idea and draw up the proposal.

Below, images of the dead wolf at the place where it was buried and the skull.

1.2. Documentation and research work.

Throughout 2014-2015, preliminary documentation and research work was completed, including drawings, sketches, photographic documents, audio and texts.

The fundamental idea of this part of the project is to collect and develop a set of documents, reflections and support materials to help us reconstruct the symbolic presence of the wolf in Ireland and its hypothetical reintroduction.

The key issues addressed in the research include the following:

a)The wolf in its historical relationship with man.

b)Personal experiences with wolves.

Below, wolf hunted in Rabanal de Cervera, Palencia, 1971. Drawing based on a picture from the book by J.A. Valverde and S. Teruelo titled Los Lobos de Morla.

Below, images of a wolf cub run over by a vehicle (photo by the author).


2.1. Fieldwork.

The intervention will involve the placement of a landmark in the form of a slab, under which the original wolf skull will be buried.

The site will be the area around Carrauntoohil, the highest peak in Ireland, located in Killarney National Park (Co. Kerry).

The design of the landmark or slab will be simple, built of black stone and medium size for easy transport and placement. It will bear a brief caption.

Below, images of the project, sketch for the site of the landmark.

For the final choice of the site, there will be a stay of two weeks in Killarney N.P., including immersion in the context and area, with field work, hikes, documentation, interviews and talks, information-gathering, etc.

As a result of the stay, field notebooks will be drawn up with photographs, maps, drawings and sketches of sites.

Below, sites.

2.2. Production and installation of the landmark.

After the design stage and stay, the landmark will be made at a local workshop, culminating in the installation of the landmark at the final site and layout of the access path.

To document the placement and overall intervention work and context, suitable technical means will be used, such as photography, videos, etc.

Below, images of the project. Access to Carrauntoohil.


Once the work is completed, actions will be taken to publicise the project in different contexts.


Preliminary work:

- In October 2008 a wolf was found dead on the hard shoulder of the N-601 Motorway as it passes through Cuéllar (Segovia).

- In 2011, the wolf skull was unearthed and transferred clandestinely to Ireland.

In March 2014, the first contacts were made in Ireland to present the idea and draw up the proposal.

- Throughout 2014-2015 preliminary research and documentation work was carried out. With the materials resulting from the preliminary work, documents, texts, etc., a complete dossier was prepared to present the project and define its development.

Development of the intervention:

March - May 2016. Completion of the preliminary research work on the subject of the wolf in the Irish context, interviews with experts and visits and studies on the definitive intervention areas, permit applications, etc.

- May - June 2016. Final design phase of the intervention in Carrantuohill two-week stay in Killarney N.P.

-From May - June 2016. Phase for the production and placement of the landmark and documentation.


- From August to October 2016 publicity phase of the project, exhibition, selection of materials or publication, to be decided.

Project objectives:

- This project is an attempt to create a more lucid observation of the landscapes in which our lives unfold. Observation that is both experiential and cultural. Observation from the deep experience of the territory through the worlds of the imagination.

- It will seek to integrate the intervention in a manner suited to the context, involving superficial, reversible work, for it to become part of everyday local life, while performing a critical reflection on the artistic action.

- The aim is to develop and collect a series of materials, drawings, documents, maps and dossiers, etc. to present the work to a large and diverse audience.

Justification of the proposal:

This project connects two territories that are distant from each other on the map but close together in my personal experience. One, my ancestral and everyday landscape and the other, the landscape of Ireland, to which I feel emotionally and personally attached.

It is extraordinary that the wolf should represent a point in common between these two locations or stand as an imaginary connection.

In my local area, a rural landscape of the Castilian plateau, I have had intense experiences with wild animals, including face-to-face encounters with wolves.

In many trips to Ireland over the years, I have visited the wild coasts of the west, the offshore islands, the mountains of the Southwest... My interest in these landscapes led me to investigate the relationship between the last wolves on the island and the mountains and pockets of local forest.

By chance, in October 2008, we learned of the appearance of a dead wolf and we recovered the skull without knowing the use we would eventually give to it.

These pieces, although scattered in principle, slowly came together.

The project started intuitively, thinking about the images that could be generated and what would happen if we finally did it.

It was exhilarating to think about how to tell the story of the find and the clandestine transfer, how it would be buried, and the placement of a slab in the mountains on the edge of a cliff in a faraway place...

However, the project idea with the specific landscape intervention and previous research made us realise what the work might mean in the Irish context. The wolf died off 250 years ago in a turbulent period for Ireland, during the British invasion, when the local population was repressed, the oaks were cut down and the English countryside was replicated on the island.

For this public project, the relevance of the project may lie in the symbolic fact of extinction, recalling a series of historical events and reflecting on their controversial and exciting reintroduction. But also, of course, the project may serve to think about the conventions and contradictions of the landscapes we feel as our own, as authentic and which we like to show; that is why the project is to take place in one of the most visited mountain areas of Ireland: Killarney National Park.

In this specific context the work would pose many questions: what does the absence of the wolf mean for the landscape of Ireland? What sense is there in a reintroduction, albeit symbolic? Why here? Why is someone from somewhere else proposing this?

I believe that the union of the two planes (personal and context) is where the project can find its meaning, an attempt on the idea of further experiencing the landscapes we have chosen to or have to live in.