Sophie Ryder lives in the Gloucestershire countryside, and her sculptures, drawings and collages invariably represent the animals in her rural surroundings. During her residencies at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park and the Forest of Dean, she frequently sited her sculptures outside, in their natural environment.
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.
These art objects are direct products of her working methods, and as such they have an inherent fascination – people are naturally intrigued by unusual processes. It is still necessary, however, to see beyond them and recognise that the materials are a means to an end: the communication of ideas. They lie at the centre of all the artist’s creations, and they are fed by a spring that never runs dry. Indeed, the ideas emerge so quickly that she never has enough time to implement all of them. The ability to retrieve and develop an idea will depend not only on how other projects are progressing, but also on the resolution of any technical hurdles she may have set herself, especially in relation to her larger sculptures.