A fascinating aspect of Ryder's sculpture is her concern with hybrids; not only the Minotaur, but hares combined with human features. The Lady Hare has occupied her imagination for many years and the human parts are based on the artist's own body. These sculptures have the potential to forge powerful images charged with character and emotion which go well beyond representation.
Sophie Ryder explains:
"I sculpt characters and beings - the dogs, the hares, the minotaurs - are all characters beyond animal form. I'm not interested in making a replica. If you would put a real hare next to one of mine you would see great differences."
A nocturnal animal, the hare is widely associated with the phases of the moon, also with lust and fertility. On the development of the Lady Hare, Sophie Ryder comments:
"The Lady Hare came about when I was looking for a companion for the Minotaur. I wanted a female body with an animal head, and the hare head seemed to work really well."
The lady hare is usually accompanied by a minotaur, a dog or a horse, but more recently she has been solitary. Her appearance has also changed. A few years ago, the head became more defined as a mask, showing more clearly that she is a human underneath.