Katie Numi Usher works across performance, sculpture, painting and embroidery to explore blackness and interrogate black female erasure within the both the colonial history of Belize and the present day. She is particularly interested in the lack of visibility of black women within art history and uses her work to challenge the cultural institutions of Belize to address this imbalance. Usher regularly uses online social media platforms as virtual galleries, challenging the gatekeeping of traditional museum and gallery spaces and providing a space and a platform for other Belizean creatives to connect with both their community and the wider black diaspora.
During her residency at Gasworks, Usher plans to investigate Black women’s history in the UK and the Caribbean, specifically their place within art history. Using this research, she will propose an alternative art ecosystem, where black female creatives are renowned and recognised as central to the art historical cannon.
Katie Numi Usher lives and works in Ladyville. Her recent solo exhibitions include: Mothers of Creation, Image Factory Art Foundation, Belize City (2021); When the Globe is Home, Gallerie delle Prigioni, Treviso (2020); borderlxne, The Notice Board, Uffington; GRUBreload, 202 A Rock Beauty Drive, Ladyville; borderlxne, Image Factory Art Foundation, Belize City (all 2019); and Panic, Image Factory Art Foundation, Belize City (2017). Her recent group exhibitions include: Guiltee Pleasures, Ohkaygall, York; Songs the Plants Taught Us, Anytime Dept., Cincinnati (both 2019); Imago Mundi - Art Theorema #1, Salone degli Incanti, Trieste; Black Imagination, Core Gallery, Seattle (both 2018); LAB 4, Image Factory Art Foundation, Belize City; Migration, The Art House, Wakefield; Ladies of the Night, Spoonaz Café, Belize City; Trashy Art, Institute of Mexico, Belize City (all 2017). From 2014 to 2017, she was part of the editorial team of the culture e-magazine BAFFU and organised and curated LAB in collaboration with Image Factory Art Foundation.
Katie Numi Usher’s residency is supported by The Shelagh Wakely Bequest, administered by The Elephant Trust.
Shelagh Wakely (1932 – 2011), was a British artist whose experimental practice combined visual art, sculpture and design with architecture. Wakely travelled widely in South-America, with special interest in Brazil, and her residence in London became a meeting point for Brazilian and Latin American artists.
The Elephant Trust administers the Shelagh Wakely Bequest, and the Shelagh Wakely Residency has been created in partnership with Gasworks to provide an emerging artist from Latin-America with a three-month residency opportunity in London.
Katie's residency also includes a virtual component developed in partnership with Tropical Papers, a platform that disseminates ideas and practices from artists working in, and with, the Tropics.