Paula Mandel

Visual Artist
Bio & Resume
Artist Statement
Current & Recent Exhibitions
Community Projects

Artist Statement

Click for Video: My Process.

For at least 5000 years people of all cultures have felt compelled to create and play with toys. Archeologists' findings have confirmed our collective need to produce miniature representations of ourselves and other objects, and manipulate them manually and in our imaginations.

As a child, my few toys provided me with an entrée into my imagination. I used these characters and objects to help me reenact, understand and integrate my experiences and fantasies. They also served as vehicles to assist me in understanding explorations of new ideas. In my next life as a practicing Play Therapist, I continued to explore the mystical, magical power imbued in toys, utilizing their inherent characteristics to help me understand the subconscious.

My interest in glass and found objects has allowed me to once again immerse myself in toys, this time with a more mature twist. As I refer to my most sacred toys, I try to evoke universal images. There is a compelling irony as I create from glass, an extremely fragile material, symbolic toys which ask to be touched and manipulated. I manipulate glass, recycle and integrate it with well-worn artifacts from the past which are often perceived as useless in today's culture. This gives discarded items renewed purpose. As we interact tentatively with these objects they take us back to our most early memories while connecting us to other societies and eras. I am actively creating and exploring new ideas.