The global spread of consumerism and its effects on culture, art and society, is a major area of interest to Jandrell, and one that she continues to explore in her photographs of constructed leisure environments around the world. Of her work she has said:
"When photographing places like theme parks, which exist within the realm of tourism, I wish to reintroduce some of the real by juxtaposing the fake environment with the reality not only outside its fence but the reality of people's interaction with the place. The cultural ritual of the holiday snapshot, for example, often highlights the gulf between the economic realities of the lives of the people involved and the economic aspirations of the theme park"
Shot on location in popular local and international attractions in different countries around the world, Mandy Lee Jandrell's work reflects on our enduring emotional investment in utopian dreams of paradise.
Mandy Lee Jandrell scours the constructed leisure environment: wildlife parks, zoos, botanical gardens, historical recreations and theme parks _ for her subject matter, exploring the pre-packaging of our perceptions of the real and the belief systems that sustain them. Her photographs bring into focus the mutually dependent nature of ideologies and cultural practices, where leisure environments are constructed to appeal to the aspirations of the economic and ideological systems with which they are intertwined.
She is currently working on a series entitled 'Eidyllion' exploring presentations of the idyllic landscape within these environments. The discordant images which result point to a disharmonious relationship between man and nature. Nature is tidied up, contained, controlled and owned. For this series her inspiration has come not only from the environments in which she photographs but also landscape painting, in particular 17th Century Dutch Landscapes and those post-industrial revolution, John Constable and the Barbizon School Realists based in France in the late 19th Century (Theodore Rousseau, Jean-Francois Miller, and Corot), whose representations of the nature and the rural allude to a culturally tainted viewing of it.
Jandrell's mode of operation veers between the amateur snapshot, evoking the engrained practices of cultural tourism, and the apparently more objective full frontal gaze of the professional documentary photographer. The casual humour of her work toys with our unblinking acceptance of these pictorial languages.
Mandy Lee Jandrell was born in Pretoria, South Africa. She completed her BA degree in Fine Art with distinction, at Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town, in 1998. Jandrell has lived in London since 1998 where she continues to live and work and has exhibited extensively in the UK and abroad in countries including the USA, South Africa, Austria, and Germany. Since completing her MA in Fine Art at Goldsmiths College in 2003, Mandy Lee Jandrell's quietly observed photographic work has been consistently attracting critical acclaim with her inclusion in the Whitechapel Gallery's East End Academy in 2004 and a commission from the Government Art Collection, to produce a series of photographs for the Ante Room of 10 Downing Street in 2004.
Recent exhibitions have included her solo shows Safari at Bearspace in London (2005), Where the Grass is Green, at Mead Gallery, University of Warwick (2004), and Take Photo Here, at Joao Ferreira Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa, (2004). Recent groups shows have included: Latitude NYC, at Nycams Gallery, New York, (2008); Make it a better Place, at Holden Gallery, Manchester (2007); Latitude, at Fieldgate Gallery, London (2007); New Utopia, at Bearspace, London (2006); Hearing Voices/ Seeing things at the Serpentine Gallery (2006); 8x8x8 MSP/NYC/LON, at The Soap Factory, in Minneapolis, USA (2006); Green, Winchester Gallery, University of Southampton (2006); London Now, The Arts Center, St. Petersburg, Florida, USA (2005); Mooimarkshow Wien-Johannesburg, at the Kunsthalle Exnergasse, Vienna (2005); Cinderella, curated by Trailer, London (2004); X-hibition, Stephen Lawrence Gallery, University of Greenwich, London (2004); East End Academy, Whitechapel Gallery, London, (2004); Godzilla, curated by Trailer, London, (2003) and Arrivals, Pumphouse Gallery, London, (2003).
Jandrell's work had been published and reviewed in publications including The Guardian, The Observer, Art Review, Art Monthly, Flash Art, Contemporary, Fleisch (Austria), Art South Africa, Arena, Dazed and Confused, Artthrob (South Africa), Itch (South Africa), Mail and Guardian (South Africa).
Mandy Lee Jandrell is currently registered for an Mphil/PhD in Fine Art at Goldsmiths College, London.