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.

Many of the people who meet the artist must hide their astonishment when they confront reality, for Sophie, unlike the perception of her being a six-foot Amazonian woman with huge biceps, is five foot three, slender, softly spoken, slightly dreamy, given that she is always thinking about her work, and future works in progress, and wears her hair in long curly tresses. She is altogether more reminiscent of a Pre-Raphaelite muse than a prolific builder of potent images. Looks do deceive, of course, and in her case the evidence of her hard profession is born on the tips of her fingers. These have become so abraded by the materials she uses that she has virtually lost the capacity to make fingerprints. Commitment is all, and one sees the same quality applied to everything else that she does in running the daily life within her household. The only way she can maintain a healthy balance is to have a very disciplined approach to her work, and to work only with those who deliver an equivalent level of commitment. However, Sophie is not a prima donna, as anyone hearing her infectious laughter is bound to appreciate. Much of her work expresses her desire to preserve her own 'joie de vivre' at all costs, reawakening ours in the process.