Anita Mandl was born in Prague and came to England in 1939. On leaving school she trained as a zoologist at Birkbeck College, University of London, gaining a first class honours degree in 1947. In 1965, she married and moved to Devon where she set up a sculpture studio in her garden and has been carving ever since.
Most of Mandl’s sculptures are simplified animal forms with highly polished surfaces where detail is eliminated in order to set off the natural beauty of each subject’s material. Mandl’s early carvings were mostly in hardwoods but later she turned to alabaster, soapstone and marble and for some time experimented with two-tone effects and polished areas with chiselled or scratched finishes or inlaid resins. Mandl’s sculptures share a superficial resemblance to the Inuit carvings of North America and Asia. This is perhaps due to a common method of being formed and a similar detailed knowledge of the animal subject matter.
Unusually for a stone carver, many of Mandl’s pieces are also cast into bronze in limited editions. Since 1987 they have been cast and patinated exclusively by Pangolin Editions whose expertise allows Mandl to replicate the colour and polish of the original. The use of these multicoloured patinas exploits the pelage or plumage of their subjects. She exhibits extensively throughout the British Isles and is a Royal West of England Academician and a Fellow of The Royal Society of British Sculptors.