The Notice Board: Katie Numi- Usher

Katie Numi-Usher. Belize. Central America
Title: Borderlxne Lino Print. 30cm  x 40cm Edition of 7
The Notice Board in hosting the work of Katie invites you to consider the construction of personal and national identities and notional ‘Free Lands?’  Belize is composed of many cultures and languages. An ancient Mayan history is well documented with many cultural aspects still persisting today, despite 500 years of European domination – first by Spain and then Britain. The British colonised the country in the early 18C using black slaves from West and Central Africa to cut trees. Their eemancipation was not achieved until 1838 [even though abolition was penned in 1833], but this provided little change as many institutions restricted the ability of individuals to buy land. Fallout from this and earlier histories continues to resonate as citizens fight for land, equality, safety, prestige and struggle against rising crime, racism and poverty. But why is this relevant here 1000s of miles away in a small country village? The Notice Board proposes that Katie’s work and its wider context may enable us consider the repercussions of historical decisions on people, economies and countries. Whilst helping us reflect on our own identity and inevitable diverse heritage. The national flag of Belize is flown to highlight Katie’s country of origin.
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Katie says: This lino print represents a 40 foot hair braid bursting out of a canvas on a wall installed in an exhibition in Belize. The braid was made of extensions I had during 2018. Through these two artworks I aim to weave my ‘silenced-ness’ into a wider narrative. It’s about personal borders bridging political ones. Hair is a powerful part of black identity. On the continent it was how we connected with our ancient ancestors, braiding like the planted cornrows. When we were taken away our hair was shorn and we were scattered by language. We were told our hair needed to be relaxed. We were told and shown and done to a great deal.
Instagram: katienumi                  
Twitter: @kat_ush_kin