If you want a last look round the popular exhibition of monumental sculpture currently showing at the Cathedral, you’ll need to move fast. Relationships, a solo show by renowned sculptor Sophie Ryder, ends on Thursday 30 June.
Rising, the gigantic crouching lady hare nursing a tiny hare in her abdomen, Sleeping Feet, the huge wire sculpture of feet near the Cathedral’s East end and the two massive Minator and Lady Hare Torsos that flank the West lawn will be on display for just two more weeks before, along with all the other semi mythical creatures inside and outside the Cathedral, they are taken down.
From the moment they arrived the sculptures have been a talking point, partly because of their size and partly because they are designed to get noticed, as challenging as they are accessible.
Children in particular have loved the work, grasping the mythical and social meaning of Sophie’s work instantly. For the many local and international visitors the free exhibition has been an added bonus. When it opened it generated so much interest that the Refectory restaurant sold out of food. The same happened on the second day. Since then nearly 70,000 visitors will have encountered Sophie’s work and along with hundreds of school children from across the diocese.
The exhibition hasn’t been without incident either. Global news outlets as far afield as the US and Australia reported the story of The Kiss, the towering 20ft high clasped hands, having to be moved because people were bumping into it. A few weeks later a blackbird snatched local headlines when it flew up inside Rising, the giant crouching hare and refused to budge until the Close was quiet and it could slip out away from prying eyes.
It has also been at the heart of an enormous outreach effort with schools and adult groups attending workshops, often hosted by Sophie herself, exploring her art and the central theme of the exhibition, relationships.
Sophie Ryder, said “It has been amazing having my work shown at the Cathedral and seeing how people respond to it, particularly the children, who instinctively respond the forms I use and the ideas I am exploring. I think for some of the older generation the work can be a challenge – it is not in the Christian vernacular and it is very big and very bold.”
Sarah Rickett, Director of Outreach and Learning, said “Sophie’s work has been very popular with the younger generation that the Cathedral keen to reach out to. The schools and colleges who came to our workshops found both the sculpture, and Sophie herself, very inspiring. The Cathedral is renowned for its art exhibitions and attracts globally recognised artists like Bruce Munro, John Maine, Anna Marie Pacheko, Helaine Blumenfeld, Nicholas Pope and Sean Henry".
The next exhibition will be Reflection, a group exhibition by featuring nine international glass sculptors.
Co-curated by Jacquiline Creswell, the Cathedral’s Arts Advisor, and Rebecca Newnham, who is also one of the exhibiting sculptors, Reflection opens on 1 August and runs until 6 November.
For any other enquiries contact Marie Thomas firstname.lastname@example.org or 01722 555148