"Grandma; I am accused of tending to the past" , Portrait of my Grandmother, June 2020

"Grandma; I am accused of tending to the past" , Portrait of my Grandmother installed in exhibition space, above a poem by Lucille Clifton, for which the work is named.

Poem by Lucille Clifton

Photo of the work in 2020 Sondheim Artscape Finalist VIRTUAL Exhibition:

Learn more about this virtual exhibition ~ https://phyliciaghee.carbonmade.com/projects/7226077

I am accused of tending to the past.

Excerpt from Exhibition Statement:
One of my favorite moments in the exhibition is a photo I took of my Grandmother, called “Grandma” , . It’s situated above a poem by Lucille Clifton entitled, “I am accused of tending to the past.”
I hold this image with so much love. This is one of my favorite portraits I’ve taken of my Grandmother. She is the most pure and unconditionally loving woman I’ve ever met. It has been a gift to be her granddaughter.

I coupled this work with the poem, “I am accused of tending to the past” because this photograph also speaks to a wider story about black women; and about our elders who have lived through so much, seen so much.

This image makes me think of my lineage and of black women being at the forefront of tending to falsified histories and constant erasures; persevering in the midst of challenges sprouting from seeds they did not plant.

Black women exist outside of societal and historical constructs. We are not to be collapsed into stereotypes, labels and archetypes of strength, servitude or over-sexualization. We will not be written off as angry or oversensitive. Black women have an emotional and spiritual intelligence that is unmatched. We are not invisible. We are invaluable. Black women are unbounded. We’ve always shown up; and yet we too have softness. We deserve reverence & regard. We are multidimensional.

Displayed in my 2020 Sondheim Finalist Virtual Exhibition, “WE ARE THE INFINITE, DISGUISED AS THE FINITE”

Self-Guided Walk Through of Virtual Exhibition: