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Photo by Peter Ferguson - Courtesy of Carolyn Cooper



Marsha Pearce selected for British Council "Americas IN Britain” Instagram Art Residency Project

Kingston, Jamaica June 13, 2018

The Caribbean and the UK will celebrate four significant anniversaries this year; the arrival of the ship Windrush on June 22, the founding of the NHS on July 5, the start of Notting Hill Carnival on August 26 and Black History month in October. These anniversaries bear testimony to the huge impact the Caribbean diaspora has had and continues to have on many aspects of contemporary British society and culture.

The British Council, in partnership with the National Portrait Gallery in the UK, has developed the ‘Americas IN Britain’ project and selected Marsha Pearce as the curator in the Caribbean.  Dr. Pearce will collaborate with two curators from the National Portrait Gallery in London, and will showcase images from Caribbean artists through an Instagram residency that responds to the anniversaries. The images will appear on the National Portrait Gallery’s and British Council’s Instagram platforms from June through October 2018.

Liz Smith, Director of Participation and Learning at the National Portrait Gallery said, “We are excited to be embarking on this new partnership with the British Council to draw global perspectives into conversation with the Gallery’s Collection through Americas IN Britain – 2018 Caribbean Edition lnstagram Residency. We are thrilled to be working with Marsha Pearce whose practice and vision will provide a critical lens and transatlantic dialogue around a series of significant historical anniversaries by drawing people, portraiture and migration together to connect and reveal the stories and legacies of these anniversaries as history in the making.”

Marsha Pearce is a Cultural Studies scholar, writer and educator based in the Caribbean.  She is a Visual Arts lecturer at the Department of Creative and Festival Arts, University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus. She has worked as the Senior Editor and Art Writer for ARC Caribbean Art and Culture Magazine and is also a Consulting Editor for Moko Caribbean Arts and Letters Magazine. She has also served on the board of the National Museum and Art Gallery of Trinidad and Tobago and is a noted culture writer.

The project will span a five month period and will mark the launch of the British Council’s new Regional Arts Instagram account while also sharing the same images on the National Portrait Gallery’s Instagram site which boasts over 360,000 followers, a formidable platform on which to showcase Caribbean images.

“We are delighted to see Marsha to spearhead the Caribbean end of this project” said Andrea Chung, Arts Project Manager at British Council Jamaica. “The artists that she intends to work with hail from different islands in the region and are exciting choices that will bring contemporary Caribbean portraiture to a new audience in the UK.”

Dr. Marsha Pearce. Educator & Curator, University of West Indies
Dr. Marsha Pearce


The British Council is the United Kingdom’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We create friendly knowledge and understanding with over 110 countries by making a positive contribution to the UK and the countries we work with in the fields of arts, English language, education and civil society. Through our Arts programme we seek to find new ways of connecting with each other through creativity and to develop stronger creative sectors around the world that are better connected with the UK.  

We strengthen the arts sector worldwide by developing its capacity to innovate, to reach new audiences, to develop skills and support livelihoods of those who can contribute to cultural, economic, and social benefit. We believe that a thriving cultural sector contributes to a more connected, secure, and prosperous world.  


Founded in 1856, the aim of the National Portrait Gallery, London is ‘to promote through the medium of portraits the appreciation and understanding of the men and women who have made and are making British history and culture, and ... to promote the appreciation and understanding of portraiture in all media’.

The Gallery holds the most extensive collection of portraits in the world. The Collection is displayed in London and in a number of locations around the United Kingdom, including several houses managed by the National Trust. The Gallery is increasingly keen to find new ways to share the Collection through the National Programmes, as well as through this website.

Like other national museums, the Gallery is supported both by government and increasingly by a large number of individuals, companies, trusts and foundations, as well as by the receipts from ticketed exhibitions, shops, catering and events.

The Gallery aims to bring history to life through its extensive display, exhibition, research, learning, outreach, publishing and digital programmes. These allow us to stimulate debate and to address questions of biography, diversity and fame which lie at the heart of issues of identity and achievement.

The National Portrait Gallery aims to be the foremost centre for the study of and research into portraiture, as well as making its work and activities of interest to as wide a range of visitors as possible.


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