Toby de Silva is a contemporary British artist who creates large scale photographs that investigate the interplay between perceived reality and the uncanny.
Inspired by artists and writers who draw predominantly on the imagination de Silva constructs images that question our relationship with mortality and fantasy. His work has evolved from documenting the extraordinary to reconstructing it and always starts with a compulsion to explore something mysterious. Subjects have included locations associated with hauntings, sites of unsolved murders and houses that appeared in classic horror movies. His first major work was ‘The Perfect Place to Die’ a two year survey of Japan’s infamous Aokigahara ‘suicide forest’.
More recently de Silva has focussed on re-purposing the landscape to suggest alternate realism, often inserting artificial elements or staging events that feature fictitious narratives meticulously assembled to create fantasies invoking mystery and tension.
Currently based in Asia, de Silva studied at Falmouth University followed by an MA in Photographic Studies at the University of Westminster.
2019 Nemesis, Dali Art Factory, China
2017 The Danse Macabre, Dali Art Factory, China
2015 Dali International Photo Festival, China
2011 The Possessed, Charlie Smith Gallery, London, UK
2011 The Perfect Place to Die, Format Festival, Derby, UK
2011 The Witching Hour 2, The PM Gallery, London, UK
2010 The Witching Hour, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, UK
2010 Association of Photographers Gallery, London, UK
2009 Vision 2009, BJP International Photography Award, London, UK
2009 Association of Photographers Gallery, London, UK
2009 Hungry, Wolverhampton Art Gallery, UK
2004 So/Far, Truman Brewery, London, UK
2015 Winner, Dali International Photo Festival Award
2011 Arts Council funding for The Perfect Place to Die
2009 Winner, Rhubarb-Rhubarb Bursary
2009 Finalist, The Guardian/Royal Photographic Society Joan Wakelin Award
2009 Honorable mention, Photography.book.now
2009 Shortlisted, BJP International Photography Award