The Kiss

On my walk today I see the giant hands have disappeared, they have been replaced by feet. I walk over to double check that I am not actually hallucinating. Moving on I check that the minotaur and hares are still with us as before and my favourite sculpture ‘Rising’ is still intact.


The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls



I’m in the cathedral close where there is a huge exhibition of Sophie Ryder’s sculptures. They are in the close, the cloisters and the cathedral itself. They are enormous, anywhere else they would dwarf their surroundings, but here they are of sufficient size to interact with the giant that is the cathedral.
I discover the hands blew over and were damaged in the recent storm and have been replaced by the feet. The hands have been unlucky from the start, originally placed over one of the paths leading to the cathedral doors they were moved on health and safety grounds because people kept bumping into them while texting! Now they’ve gone altogether, rather sad, I liked them.

Of all the sculptures my favourite is ‘Rising’ a giant hare who comes complete with her inner child, who like the one who lives inside all of us is sometimes easy to miss or forget about.

Sophie uses her lurcher dogs as inspiration for her sculptures and this picture of her with two of them was taken after she had taken part in a conversation at the Salisbury Arts Festival.

“I sculpt characters and beings- the dogs, the hares, the minotaurs… are all characters beyond animal form. I am not interested in making a replica”

Sophie Ryder

The great thing about this and other public art is that it’s free, it’s inspiring and you can visit it as often as you like. We often equate enjoyment with spending money and having that mindset in retirement, when you maybe have less money, potentially closes down options. There are so many great things we can do for free, it’s often just a matter of seeking them out.

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