26 Aug

Small Works 3 in New York

Five pieces from my project Abstracting The Rain Horse have been accepted into Jeffrey Leder Gallery’s Small Works 3 show, opening September 14, 2014.  The works, drawn from passages contained within the short story The Rain Horse, written by Ted Hughes, viscerally abstract the powerful visual imagery used by Hughes into colorful punches in a minimalistic style.

Initially during this project I thought I would go at the story in an illustrative way, but after working through parts of the story, began to feel it required a far different approach.  One of the pieces in my series, The Rain Horse 1 (there are a total of eight thus far) is being used as half Small Works 3 cover design.  Here is the piece itself (11.8″ x 11.8″ unframed):

The Rain Horse 1

And – here is the cover artwork for the exhibit:  

Smallworks 3 Graphic

The concept for the Abstracting The Rain Horse project came about as a result of a conversation I had with Subir, husband of writer/publisher Wanda Mukherjee while I was in Wake Forest at the opening of her workspace and Creo Gallery in which ten of my pieces are currently on exhibit.  Subir mentioned that while he was growing up in India, he studied a range of literature, and that one of the most striking works he read was The Rain Horse by Ted Hughes.  As I listened to Subir describing the story and the textures of the wording, I thought it would be really interesting to try to translate some of that richness into visual artwork.  

My language tends to range from loosely rendered, illustration style pieces to very sparse minimalist pieces.  It truly depends on the underlying content, theoretical foundations, and intended message I’m working with while I’m creating the visual works.  In this case, I found the man’s relationship with the place in The Rain Horse, and his relationship with the horse itself conjured up the stark cinematography of older films, and the dynamic contrasts of a handful of photographers holding down various territories within art history.  The story brought to mind the power of form against form, jagged and piercing the air around them – and the contrast with those particulars against smooth stones and bending waterways.  

So, the result has been the creation of works I’m happy to say will be on exhibit in New York.  I am truly grateful to have been selected to be a part of the Small Works 3 exhibit!

Start spreadin’ the news….Yahoooo!


15 Aug

Abstracting ‘The Rain Horse’ by Ted Hughes

Abstracting The Rain Horse - He Threw Stones

After having a conversation about the short story ‘The Rain Horse’ by Ted Hughes at the opening of my exhibit at Creo Gallery in Wake Forest, NC, I became very interested in the piece.  I’d never read it.  Since, I’ve just begun to work through it, and have ordered (totally self-indulgently) a copy of each of the two volumes of Modern Short Stories, the compendium in which the story is published.

In the meantime, I’ve begun to extract passages ripe with agitated life, and given to depiction – abstraction.  I’ve abstracted the work, thus far, into five minimalist pieces, and am working through more concrete abstractions (um…really…??) as well.    Below is one of the abstractions giving more visually concrete depiction.  This work centers on the turn of phrase:  ”He snatched up two stones and roaring with all his strength flung the one in his right hand.”

Abstracting The Rain Horse - He Threw Stones


I’ve also just looked for some scholarly material about place-identity and come across an  article that delves into the place-person relationship and its impact on identity formation.  CLICK HERE to read the article.

13 Aug

Behailu Academy in The Observer!

Behailu Academy, a non-profit where I teach art and other courses, was just featured in the Charlotte Observer!  I am honored to have been quoted in the article!

Artist and illustrator Ladianne Mandel has been teaching at Behailu Academy since August 2013. She said the lessons are far more than just instructive.

“My students and I often have conversations about the various ways they move through the world and the ways they perceive their environments, and all of this gives us the opportunity to talk about various ways they can move forward in their lives,” Mandel said.




12 Aug

Behailu VOICES!

I am very excited to be a part of Behailu Academy’s Teaching Artist faculty.  This year, our organization won a grant to begin creating a visual and performing arts journal online called Behailu VOICES!  This journal will give our students a chance to learn about content creation and management, personal expression, writing, editing, collaboration, time management, and a ton more.  I’m really looking forward to working with the kids to create this awesome product!!!

03 Aug

Exhibit Opens This Week


022-765x1024I am grateful to have been asked by the publisher of my book of poetry, Play Them Bones, to exhibit my work at the gallery in her new office space in Wake Forest, NC.  So, I’ll be there this Friday and my work will be on exhibit.  The show will include work I’ve created since roughly 2010, and includes my collaged pieces created largely using paper with methods including painting, printmaking, and drawing.  I’ll also be reading from my poetry book – wow – could I make that sound any less exciting??  Truth is, it’ll be really fun – I love to read aloud, and I LOVE making things dramahhhhhtic….  So, come join me at The Paper Journey Press this weekend.  Google them, read about them, and check out their site – and watch here for more details!!

All of the stuff you find on this website (minus the amazing Fruitful Theme) is copyright 2014, Ladianne H. Mandel