Libita is an interdisciplinary artist who draws on her British-Namibian heritage to make discursive works that explore personal histories and colonial legacies inscribed in the body. Often creating audio-visual outcomes rooted in collage technique, performance and sound ecologies, Libita's work seeks to usher subversive pathways into the present through reimagining materiality, movement and collective healing in relationship to the environment.
For Bristol Beacon’s public art programme, Libita has been given an open invitation to propose her own response to the venue and its position on the water. Her commission takes inspiration from collective work, memory, and wayfinding. Through practices of deep listening, in resonance with black diasporic experiences and water bodies, Libita delves into the relationship between mapping and storytelling in order to propose a space for healing.
Libita says: “I am creating a soundwork developed from workshops on Bristol's waterways, with black artists, writers, and historians, that pulls the Bristol Beacon into a different reimagined history with guided meditations, fiction writing, sound baths, and water rituals. Internally I’ve been asking; what do we do when there isn’t a place for us to go to remember.”
“I’ve been thinking about Bristol being built around water, and how the Transatlantic Slave Trade created multiple passages and holes; in bodies, in memories, in time, in mother earth, ocean, in us. And what are the afterlives of those holes and how do we reckon with this violence? I hope the process of making this sound work, this refraction, this spectre - will connect people to the historical undercurrents of Bristol Beacon's local geographies, providing a place for grief and catharsis through meditative reflection."
Libita Sibungu’s solo and collaborative projects collage together; text, performance, drawing, print, photography and sound, then becoming installations. These poetic arrangements draw on Sibungu’s African-Celtic heritage and lived experiences, to host dialogues about intergenerational trauma and colonial legacies inscribed in the body and land. Through ongoing research into extractive industries such as mining, Sibungu creates bodies of work that expose organic materials (such as silt, stone, clay and crystals) to light, speech, air and sound. In the hope that possibilities for healing may come from this exposure.
Sibungu is the (2022) Paul Hamlyn Award recipient and the winner of the Arts Foundation Future Award (2021), their work has been presented with; Temple Bar Gallery, Ireland, and Sonsbeek, Netherlands (2021); Somerset House, UK, and Cabaret Voltaire, Zurich (2020), Gasworks and Spike Island (2019) and the 57th Venice Biennale (2017).