No comments yet

Artist Statement: Paula Mandel

Moral Compass: Artists Respond to Crises

Temple Judea Museum exhibition January – March 2021

Paula Mandel

Life Boat

Media: Artist-flameworked glass, mirror, vintage toaster, ceramic boat, chain

While trying to deal with the day-to-day challenges of this all-encompassing pandemic, I found myself wistfully wishing to be whisked away by a mysterious positive force to a land that feels safe and more like the old normal. When the current pandemic hit, I actually researched other lands that might be more welcoming and more protective and accepting of science and its interpretation of, and reaction to the natural world. I love sailing on the water and imagine that somewhere there is a ship that can rescue us and lead us all to a safe harbor, both physically and emotionally. 

Seed Safe

Media: Artist-flameworked small vessel, seed, vintage wagon wheel, vintage silver serving dish, brass chain, found objects

I had heard that somewhere on the earth scientists were storing seeds in case of a global food crisis. My research during the pandemic taught me about the Global Seed Vault in Norway where 930,000 varieties of food crop seeds are stored. On a remote island, deep inside a mountain on a remote island in the Svalbard archipelago, halfway be mainland Norway and the North Pole, the seeds are protected from disasters both man-made and natural. They are the single repository of the seeds located in the 1700 gene banks all over the world. Each time I work in my studio I fool myself into thinking that I am distracted from our world crisis. In fact, my unconscious takes over with every sculpture, and yields works pertaining to the pandemic.  “Seed Safe” is a result of one of my obsessions generated by our current events.  I attempt to assuage these feelings of universal food shortages as I contribute to food banks.