There is a monumental treat in store for visitors when internationally renowned British sculptor Sophie Ryder brings her latest exhibition to the Cathedral.
Life-sized Minotaurs and Lady Hares will appear on the Cathedral lawn and in the cloisters, the Kiss (a 20ft high arch formed by massive clasped hands) will straddle the North Walk along which coach groups will go to reach the Cathedral entrance, and Rising (a Lady Hare as large as a house) will crouch on the grass adjacent to the West Front.
These gigantic works are part of a major two-stage show, Relationships: An exhibition by Sophie Ryder, which opens on Friday 12 February and runs until 3 July.
Relationships explores Sophie’s own family interactions and relationships, at the same time challenging us to consider how we interact with each other and our own loved ones. She uses the Hare Headed female figures and Minotaur males both to portray those relationships and to disguise them.
Sophie is showing work made in a wide range of sizes and materials, even ‘drawings’ in wire, but the gigantic hands, feet and eyes that are another of her trademarks are testament to the fact that she enjoys working on a monumental scale.
“I get a thrill from working ‘big’ but I also want the pieces, while huge, to be transparent, allowing you to see through them” she says. “It is also exciting to have the combination of sizes in the particular Cathedral setting. I like to show my work in both rural and urban settings but very often in urban settings, especially one like Salisbury, the work needs to be monumental to compete with the Cathedral otherwise it would be dwarfed by it.”
Sophie is no stranger to the Cathedral. Twenty five years ago she exhibited in the Cathedral Cloisters and also made a sculpture outside in the grounds. This time she is also exhibiting at Sarum College, The Salisbury Museum and the Young Gallery in Salisbury.The Museum exhibition will re-create a studio environment in order to give visitors an insight into how her work is made.