Halifax's Piece Hall chosen to host UK art first

World-renowned artist Sophie Ryder will premiere her new exhibition at Halifax's Piece Hall.

By sarah fitton
Wednesday, 2nd February 2022, 2:53 pm

The historic building's courtyard will host the UK art first, which includes a monumental 4.5m-high bronze installation ‘Dancing Hares’, which is over seven metres wide.

Sophie's work is inspired by animals, humans and mystical creatures and has been exhibited all over the world including Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

Chief Executive of The Piece Hall Trust, Nicky Chance-Thompson, said: “It’s a huge coup for us.

Sophie Ryder

"We’re both honoured and excited to show the work of sculptor Sophie Ryder, who is without question the most highly respected artist we’ve welcomed to The Piece Hall to date.

“We’re passionate about making this kind of world-class art easily accessible to the public.

"We recognise how vital culture and the arts are in enriching our environment and it will be a huge draw for people to visit The Piece Hall.

"The timing, as we head into Spring with its focus on new beginnings is perfect and adds an extra resonance to the exhibition.

"Sophie’s work is highly celebrated in the art world and our historic venue and surrounding landscape will provide a stunning backdrop for her iconic works.”

Sophie said: "My work has been shown in Yorkshire at Yorkshire Sculpture Park but this exhibition will be very different.

"I have loved the challenge of The Piece Hall - it’s so huge, the sculptures really have to hold their own in order to compete with their surroundings.

"The magnitude of The Piece Hall and its urban setting is perfect for my exhibition as there is the space for even the very largest sculptures to be walked around and through which really helps bring them to life.”

Hignell Gallery Director Abby Hignell, who has worked with the artist and The Piece Hall with the exhibition, added: “I’m so delighted that The Arts Council has supported this groundbreaking exhibition as they are most discerning with the projects they champion. We are thrilled with this badge of honour.”

The exhibition will be free to enter and open to the public on February 19 until May. 23.

The Piece Hall received £15,000 through Arts Council England’s National Lottery Project Grants programme to help bring Sophie Ryder’s work to the venue.