The rabbits of Salisbury Cathedral

There’s a monumental treat in store for visitors to the Cathedral, who’ll encounter the latest exhibition by internationally renowned sculptor Sophie Ryder.

Life-sized Minotaurs and Lady Hares can be seen the Cathedral lawn and in the cloisters, a 20ft high arch formed by massive clasped hands and called The Kiss looms on the Cathedral’s North side, and Rising, a gigantic Lady Hare with a small hare protected inside her, crouches on the grass adjacent to the West Front.

These enormous works are part of a major two stage show, Relationships: An exhibition by Sophie Ryder, which opened on Friday 12 February and runs until 3 July.

“The Lady Hare ‘mask’ and the Minotaur head are a way of concealing the identity of the figures in the sculptures” she explains, “otherwise it would always be me or one of my family. It is better for people to make up their own story and project their own relationships onto the sculptures. They also allow me to explore the physical side of relationships more easily because they are half animal, which is somehow less shocking.”

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.”

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Written by theFerkel