Artist Albert Biles- Moose Antler and Whale Bone Carvings

Albert Biles has been carving since he was old enough to pick up a pocket knife. "Now it comes easy to me. I can't explain it. I never learned to carve from anyone; I just taught myself." This very personal approach to the techniques of carving traditional materials such as moose antler, whalebone and soapstone is also reflected in the rich and evolving vocabulary of images he has developed over the years. They are images that come from his experiences with, observations of, and intuitions about life on the Great Northern Peninsula of Newfoundland. Working in his studio in St. Anthony, Biles produces carvings that range in subject matter from the region's flora and fauna to the depiction of aboriginal myths and legends. Images seem to flow directly out of the materials he uses. his Metis heritage inspires the mythological figures which seem to emerge from the very form of the antler from which they are carved. In past years, most of Biles' carvings were produced during the winter months, because his summer months were spent working in the fishing industry. Since the closure of the northern cod fishery, he has been able to spend more time in his studio. In addition, he is able to pass his skills to his son Brian. "It's not always easy matching his quality," admits Brian. "But, then again, you've got to try your best because it represents something we both believe in." Albert Biles' carvings have found their way into collections all over North America and Europe. Visitors to the Great Northern Peninsula will find his work in local craft shops.

Albert Biles grew up in the town of St. Anthony and was raised by adoptive parents. He worked at the fish plant for many years before realizing his talent for carving. He actually gave the carvings away to friends and family not knowing the value of his fine masterpieces. It was his friends and family who made him realize his special gift. Albert has said that he sometimes woke up at 4:00 a.m after having visions of spiritual figures in his head. So that he doesnít lose these images, he will start carving in the wee hours of the morning. Not knowing why these visions were occurring he wanted to trace the roots of his birth family. After doing some genealogy research, he discovered he was related to an artistic Metis family (the Flowers). See the book of Labrador Artists in the Gallery. Albertís sons now are up and coming artisans whos spiritually also shines through in their art. Carving mainly with moose antler and whalebone his work is very finished and detailed. His style is reminiscent of Bill Richieís ( a famous Newfoundland artist) paintings. Who paints images within images and you must look carefully to appreciate them .

Handcarved of Moose Antler - 5 inches height- $290

Handcarved of Moose Antler - 2.5 inches height- $375

Handcarved of Moose Antler - 3 inches height- $250

Handcarved of Moose Antler - 10 inches height- $250