30/06/2007 — 8/09/2007

Annie Whiles

Side Show

Annie Whiles

This exhibition of new drawings by British artist Annie Whiles, explored the artist’s fascination with the juxtaposition between public and private activity, and the relationship between artefact and art.


Sideshow included new works commissioned by Grundy, which depict planters discovered by the artist during visits to Blackpool town centre, and those adorning Bed and Breakfast establishments. These works, including 'Strongman' and 'Troupe', refer to Blackpool’s rich and important entertainment history and tradition. At Grundy, this "garden" leading into an "interior" made reference to Blackpool’s own visual culture. More specifically we were made to consider Grundy’s place, with Whiles’s works on its walls, within Blackpool’s organic commonplace creativity.

Her drawings of domestic interiors, which frequently include 60’s and 70’s style furnishings, are simple linear representations. They have a printed quality; bold, black unmannered traces of forms on white paper. Stylistically these drawings have developed from Whiles looking at the cartoon process used in preparation for tapestry and Gustav Stickley’s illustrative designs for Arts and Crafts interiors; evolving from her previous work in embroidery and woodcarving.

Whiles's subjects are not direct observations but ready mades, taken from found reproductions, which have already been visually processed and stylised. She presents us with a careful amount of information on each object, positioned "just so", and in doing so creates space for the viewer to contemplate its journey from ordinary to extraordinary; its position between artefact and art. 

"Often the subjects chosen have an amazing starting point. Not because they are, within themselves, anything extraordinary or unique in terms of proposition or perspective but because they are very ordinary. She wants them to represent something other than their external manner.
The lines describe what is not there. The drawings represent nothing and plenty more besides."
Bernard Walsh, 2007

Cabinets, adorned with well-proportioned pot plants and vases of flowers, ceramic plates with bird motifs. Objects to decorate our living spaces often without functionality or excluded from such a purpose for presentation sake. Left out are the imperfections, for us to relate our own personal domestic order.

Annie Whiles completed her MA in Fine Art at Goldsmiths College in 2000, where she is now a lecturer in Art Practice. In 2007 her solo exhibition entitled Cuckoo was shown at the Danielle Arnaud Gallery, London. Recent group exhibitions include Thy Neighbours, Ox 2, Space Station Sixty Five, London 2005; Cloud and Vision, Museum of Garden History, London 2005; Death is Part of the Process, Void Gallery, Derry, Northern Ireland, 2005.


The exhibition was funded by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.