Sophie Ryder was born in London, England, in 1963. She 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.
Inspired by Picasso, Goya and Henry Moore, she famously developed the Lady Hare as a counterpart to Ancient Greek mythology's Minotaur. 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.
Working 'big' is a very significant feature of her work, and she enjoys rising to the constructional and creative challenges which flow from this aspiration. It's because of this she has to have a very disciplined approach to her work.