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James Sibley

For Sibley, making is bound to conceptual rigor, so that by reframing (and therefore reinscribing) the histories of an artwork’s physical components, his practice – and its inclination towards authenticity – aims to transmute each scene into a tool which exacerbates and questions the hidden signifiers underpinning reality’s fabric. These ideas present themselves in the form of sculptural installation, moving image and sonic investigation. Sibley’s staged locations become conglomerates caught in flux, existing somewhere between film set and haunting experience, suspending the viewer in varying degrees of immersion. This suspension aims to problematize viewer consent when experiencing art, and looks to provide the groundwork for examining the affective bandwidth of the signs and symbols of everyday reality, alongside their origins in Hollywoodized fiction.


His work currently looks at embodying personal conceptions of fictional characters (namely in Psychedellic, Noir or Gangster laden media) in order to rethink the way work should be made, and the narratives this raises. Through this, Sibley’s drive to practically assess the role of the artist – fisrtly in terms of transmutation (artist as alchemist); and secondly in terms of the recombination of assets in order to draw out their latent properties in a controlled manner (artist as shamanic figure) – is allowed to flourish, positing that art has the potential to transcend and not merely repackage everyday reality.


Courtesy of the artist’s website.