SOPHIE RYDER - THE ARTIST

Sophie Ryder was born in London, England, in 1963.

Sophie studied Combined Arts at the Royal Academy of Arts 1981-84, where, while obtaining her diploma in painting, she was encouraged by Sir Hugh Casson, the then director of the Royal Academy, to develop her sculpture.​

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, torn scraps of paper and charcoal sticks.

Sophie famously developed the Lady Hare as a counterpart to Ancient Greek mythology's Minotaur.
Working 'big' is a very significant feature of Sophie's work, and she enjoys rising to the constructional and creative challenges which flows from this aspiration.


Many of the people who meet the artist must hide their astonishment when they confront reality, for Sophie, unlike the perception of her being a six-foot Amazonian woman with huge biceps, is five foot three, slender, softly spoken, slightly dreamy, given that she is always thinking about her work, and future works in progress, and wears her hair in long curly tresses. She is altogether more reminiscent of a Pre-Raphaelite muse than a prolific builder of potent images. Looks do deceive, of course, and in her case the evidence of her hard profession is born on the tips of her fingers. These have become so abraded by the materials she uses that she has virtually lost the capacity to make fingerprints. Commitment is all, and one sees the same quality applied to everything else that she does in running the daily life within her household. The only way she can maintain a healthy balance is to have a very disciplined approach to her work, and to work only with those who deliver an equivalent level of commitment. However, Sophie is not a prima donna, as anyone hearing her infectious laughter is bound to appreciate. Much of her work expresses her desire to preserve her own 'joie de vivre' at all costs, reawakening ours in the process.

Biography

1963 Born, London
1981–84 Royal Academy Schools, London

Solo Exhibitions

 

1987

Edward Totah Gallery, London

Salisbury Cathedral Courcoux & Courcoux Gallery, Salisbury, UK

1988

St Paul’s Gallery, Leeds, UK  

Courcoux & Courcoux Gallery, Salisbury, UK

1989

Henley Festival Berkeley Square Gallery, London

1990

Newport City Museum and Art Gallery, Newport, Gwent, UK 

Courcoux & Courcoux Gallery, Salisbury, UK

1991

Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield, UK

1992

Courcoux & Courcoux Gallery. Salisbury, UK

1994

​Winchester Cathedral, UK
Red House Museum & Gardens, Christchurch, Dorset, UK

1995

Berkeley Square Gallery, London

 

 

1996

Belloc Lowndes Gallery, Chicago, US

1997

O’Hara Gallery, New York, US
Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum & Town centre, UK

Berkeley Square Gallery, London

1998

Courcoux & Courcoux Gallery, Salisbury, UK

1999

Victoria Art Gallery and City centre, Bath, UK

Cartwright Hall Art Gallery, Bradford, UK

Berkeley Square Gallery, London

2000

Odapark, Venray, Holland
Courcoux & Courcoux Gallery, Salisbury, UK

Buschlen Mowatt Galleries, Vancouver, Canada

2001

Galerie de Bellefeuille, Quebec, Canada

Berkeley Square Gallery, London

2002

Metropole Galleries, Folkestone, Kent, UK

Courcoux & Courcoux Gallery, Salisbury, UK

Pierrepont Fine Art, Oxford, UK

2003

Berkeley Square Gallery, London

2004

Victoria Art Gallery, Bath, UK
Imago Gallery, Palm Desert, California, US

Storey Gallery and Lancaster town centre, UK

2005

Canary Wharf, London

2006

Atkinson Gallery, Millfield School, Somerset, UK

2007

Imago Galleries, Palm Desert, California, US
Frederick Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, Grand Rapids, US

2008

Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield, UK

 

2009

Victoria Art Gallery, Bath, UK


2010

Aynhoe Park, Bedfordshire, UK


2011

Cartwright Hall, Bradford, UK

 

​2013

Celia Lendis Contemporary Art Gallery, Moreton-in-the-Marsh, UK

Imago Galleries, Palm Desert, California, US
Royal West of England Academy, Bristol, UK

2014

Courcoux & Courcoux Gallery, Salisbury, UK

New Brewery Arts, Cirencester, UK

2015

Kloster Eberbach Sculpture Park, Germany, during the Blickacksen exhibition

2016

Salisbury Cathedral and select locations around Salisbury town centre, UK

Hignell Gallery, London

​2017

Ann Norton Sculpture Park, West Palm Beach, Waterhouse and Dodd, Florida, US, 

St. James Square, UK

Pilane Sculpture Park, Sweden

Hignell Gallery, London

 

2018

Galerie de Bellefeuille, Quebec, Canada    

Hignell Gallery, London

 

2019-2020

Berkley Square, Mayfair, UK with Hignell Gallery, London

 

Group Exhibitions

 

1984

Christie’s Inaugural Pick of the Graduates Interim Art, London

 

1985

Gallery 24, London

Henley Festival, UK

1986

Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield, UK

Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

Photographers Gallery, London

1987

Louise Hallet Gallery, London

1988

Plymouth City Museum, UK

Glasgow Garden Festival, UK

Cleveland Gallery, Middlesbrough, UK

Berkeley Square Gallery, London

Chilford Hall Press, Cambridge, UK

Oxford Gallery, Oxford, UK

1990

Glasgow Print Studio, UK

 

1991

Hannah Peschar Gallery, Surrey, UK

 

1992

Art at Milton Keynes Millfield School, Somerset, UK

Bruton Street Gallery, London

Arhus Festival, Denmark

Bruton Gallery, Bath, UK

Plymouth City Museum, UK

Mail Galleries, London

 

1993

Oxford Gallery, Oxford, UK

Art in the City, London

Bury St Edmunds Art Gallery, Suffolk, UK

Kilkenny Arts Week, Eire, UK

 

1994

The Allen Gallery, Alton, Hampshire, UK

Berkeley Square Gallery, London

Sculpture at Goodwood, Chichester, West Sussex, UK

Artbus, Fife, UK

 

1996

Chelsea Harbour, London

1997

Manchester Academy, UK

Wimpole Hall, Cambridge, UK

The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh

Sotheby’s, London

 

1998

Vancouver Sculpture Festival, Canada

1999

Shape of the Century, Salisbury, UK

Canary Wharf, London

Den Haag Sculptuur, The Hague, Holland

 

2000

Veranneman Foundation, Belgium

 

2001

Kirkland International Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition, Washington, US

Eigsé, Carlow Arts Festival, Eire

Den Haag Sculptuur, The Hague, Holland

2003

Newbury Spring Festival, UK

 

2004

Sculpture in the Park, Aykley Heads, Durham, UK

2005

Vancouver Biennale, Vancouver, Canada

Solomon Gallery, Dublin

2006

Royal Hibernian Gallery, Dublin

2007

Blickachsen 6, Bad Homburg, Frankfurt, Germany

Vancouver Biennale, Vancouver, Canada

2009

Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield, UK

Vancouver Biennale, Vancouver, Canada

 

2011

Aynhoe Park, Bedfordshire, UK
Vancouver Biennale, Vancouver, Canada

2013

Wetpaint Gallery, Cirencester, UK

Caldwell Snyder Gallery, San Francisco, US

2015

Lemon Street Gallery, Truro, UK

Blickacksen, Bad Homburg, Germany

2016

Hignell Gallery, London

 

Public and corporate collections

Ballantrae Park, Dublin, Ohio, US
Barings Bank
BOC Group
Cheekwood Museum of Art, Nashville, Tennessee, US 

Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum, UK

Cheltenham Borough Council Conoco Ltd, UK
De Beers Collection Folkestone Town, UK

Frensham Heights School, UK
Gerrard & National Bank
National Trust, UK
New Hall College, Cambridge Newport City Museum & Art Gallery OHSU Foundation

Private Bank and Trust Company Ltd
Robert and Mary Montgomery Armory Arts Centre, Palm Beach, Florida, US 

Seven Bridges Sculpture Park, Connecticut, US
Tyne and Wear Development Corporation, UK
Victoria Art Gallery, Bath, UK
Yorkshire Sculpture Park, UK

 

Artist in residence

1986

Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield, UK

Grizedale Forest, Cumbria, UK

1987

Salisbury Cathedral, UK

1988

Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, UK

1993

Kilkenny, Eire

1996

Boulogne, France

1997

Cheltenham Art Gallery and Cleeve School, Cheltenham, UK

Cheekwood Sculpture Park, Nashville, Tennessee, US

2000

Vancouver Sculpture Festival, Canada

2003

Newbury Spring Festival, UK

 

Art fairs

Zurich: 1986

Bath, UK: 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991

Business Design Centre, London: 1988, 1989, 1991 – 2001

Olympia, London: 1989, 1990

Art Miami, US (with Berkeley Square Gallery): 1994–2001

20th / 21st Century British Art Fair, London (with Berkeley Square Gallery): 1994–2001

Miami Basel Art Fair, Florida, US: 1994–2013, 2016


Art International NY, US (with Berkeley Square Gallery): 1998


Art Palm Beach, US (with Berkeley Square Gallery): 1999–2001


Salon de Mars, Geneva, Switzerland (with Berkeley Square Gallery): 2001

 

20th Century Art Fair, NY, US (with Berkeley Square Gallery): 2003

The Armory Show, NY, US: 2013


The Hamptons Art Fair, NY, US: 2013


London Art Fair: 2016

 

Art Basel, Waterhouse and Dodd, Miami, US: 2016

 

Lectures and teaching

Sheffield Art College, UK
Loughborough Polytechnic, UK
Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, UK
Cheshire Art Teachers Conference, UK
Staffordshire Art Teachers Conference, UK
Jesus College, University of Cambridge, UK
Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum, UK
Victoria Art Gallery, Bath, UK
Kirkland International Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition, Washington US 

Mary Hare School, Newbury, UK
Frederick Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, Grand Rapids, US 

Oxbow School of Art, Saugatuck, Michigan, US
Keynote Speaker, International Sculpture Conference, Chicago, US 

Cartwright Hall, Bradford, UK
Royal West of England Academy, Bristol

Waterhouse and Dodd, NY, US

Lightbox, Woking, UK

Prizes

Discerning Eye 1992 at the Mall Galleries: Art Newspaper Award for best sculpture in show