Sophie Ryder was born in London in 1963. She studied at Kingston Polytechnic (1980-81) and the Royal Academy Schools, London (1981-84).
Recent solo exhibitions include: New Brewery Arts, Cirencester; Courcoux & Courcoux Gallery, Stockbridge (2014); Celia Lendis Contemporary Art Gallery, Moreton-in-Marsh; Royal West Academy, Bristol; Imago Galleries, Palm Desert, USA (2013); Cartwright Hall Art Gallery, Bradford; Villa D’Arte, Pietrasanta, Italy (2012); Victoria Art Gallery, Bath (2009); Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield (2008); Imago Galleries, Palm Desert, USA; Frederick Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, Grand Rapids, USA (2007); Canary Wharf, London (2005); Imago Galleries, Palm Desert, USA; Victoria Art Gallery, Bath; Storey Gallery, Lancaster / town centre (2004); Berkeley Square Gallery, London (2003); Metropole Galleries, Folkestone, Kent; Courcoux & Courcoux Gallery, Stockbridge; Pierrepont Fine Art, Oxford (2002); Galerie de Bellefeuille, Quebec, Canada; Berkeley Square Gallery, London (2001); Odapark, Venray, Holland; Courcoux & Courcoux Gallery, Stockbridge; Buschlen Mowatt Galleries, Vancouver, Canada (2000); Berkeley Square Gallery, London (1999); Courcoux & Courcoux Gallery, Stockbridge (1998); O’Hara Gallery, New York, USA; Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum / city centre; Berkeley Square Gallery, London (1997); Belloc Lowndes Gallery, Chicago, USA (1996); Berkeley Square Gallery, London (1995).
Sophie Ryder's world is one of mystical creatures, animals and hybrid beings made from sawdust, wet plaster, old machine parts and toys, weld joins and angle grinders, wire 'pancakes', torn scraps of paper, charcoal sticks and acid baths. Her sculptural and collage works include depictions of individual animals and groups of them, fashioned in wire and bronze, some realistic and some fantastical. Her technique of manipulating and winding metal wire to shape her creatures is physically demanding, but it endows her beasts with great dynamism. Human attributes may be found in some of her creatures, but in others innate animal qualities are underlined, particularly in some of the group and pair compositions. Inspired by Picasso, Goya and Henry Moore, she famously developed the Lady Hare as a counterpart to Ancient Greek mythology's Minotaur.