Sophie Ryder's world is one of animals and mystical creatures constructed from wet plaster, old machine parts, scavenged toys, tangled wire and torn scraps of paper. Her hybrid beings are steeped in mythology and cultural symbolism. They are tender and self- aware, resonating on an immediate and human level.
Ryder is renowned for developing the Lady-Hare, a woman with the head of a hare, as a counterpart to the Minotaur of Greek Mythology. Her anthropomorphic characters are used both to explore the human condition and as a metaphor for Ryder's own feelings. Indeed, the Lady Hare's body is based on Ryder's own, imbuing it with a personal significance that transcends the limitations of the autobiographical.
Ryder was the youngest student after JMW Turner to be admitted to the Royal Academy of Arts in London. After completing her studies Ryder was invited to be Artist in Residence at Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Since graduating in 1986, Ryder has shown her work all over the world including major outdoor sculpture exhibitions at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, UK; Blickachsen, Germany; Frederik Meijer Sculpture Park, USA; Pilane, Sweden and Salibury Cathedral, UK.