The sculptor Sophie Ryder has attracted an international following for her gigantic mythical figures, hybrids of humans and animals such as Minotaurs. Her signature Lady-Hares tower over public spaces around Britain and as far afield as Chicago, Vancouver and Palm Desert.
Ryder came to early prominence in 1984, when she exhibited in the Christie’s Pick of New Graduate Art show. Today, alongside her Lady-Hare, more recent wire sculptures of huge hands and feet thrust up and populate the fields around her tiny cottage, making it look like a fairy-tale home for an elf in a strange land of giants. Ryder herself is elfin and wild-haired, with intense blue eyes. She is surprisingly petite for someone who creates such enormous work from wire, bronze, marble and even old toys, scrunched-up paper and machine parts.
Lampits Farm is above all a showcase for Ryder’s sculptures, mosaics and drawings, which combine to create a mysterious, spellbinding charm, transporting the visitor into a dreamworld inhabited by exotic beasts from an Ancient Greek myth.