Whiles makes woodcarvings, drawings and embroideries from a collection of personal icons, gathered from encounters or confusions she has experienced. The images, photographs and objects gather in her studio and may lay dormant for several years until the right time. The artist likens these icons to messages or signals, mediating between different worlds.
Whiles describes the process of carving as “a means to an end to see a wooden object or device in a room,” likening the process to archaeology, engaging with a material both dead and alive. Surfaces are then painted to divert attention from the wood itself.
The work acts as a test or a probe, travelling without moving, possibly exceeding its material conditions but unable to escape its own comedy.
Annie Whiles 2020