Sophie Ryder, Steel rod and steel wire, located 1988, reinstated September 2001

“When I first visited the forest, I knew straight away that I wanted to make a group sculpture. Since I make animals, one solitary form would have been lost in the trees unless it had been very large. The animals that felt right to me were deer.” Sophie Ryder

Sophie Ryder’s original piece for the Sculpture Trail, River Crossing, consisted of thirteen deer sculptures. Ryder draws her inspiration from the English tradition of animal art, and her deer sculptures are strikingly lifelike and animate. In River Crossing, the herd appeared to be rushing across a pond, with some almost completely submerged in the water and mud. Made from a deliberate fragile wire, the sculptures were designed to eventually rust away into the pond. This deer is an echo of that original work.

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About the Artist

"Sophie Ryder was born in London, England, in 1963. Sophie 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. 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, torn scraps of paper and charcoal sticks. Sophie famously developed the Lady Hare as a counterpart to Ancient Greek mythology's Minotaur.
Working 'big' is a very significant feature of Sophie's work, and she enjoys rising to the constructional and creative challenges which flows from this aspiration. Read more on the artist’s website: