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Phylicia Ghee

Born Baltimore, MD 1988

INTREPID III (excerpt)

Single-channel video with 4-channel sound, documenting ritual performance
Runtime Excerpt 2:58, Full video 15:57
Courtesy of the artist

More on this artist

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INTREPID is a ritual performance in which I am using my body to move in a spiral formation while writing a series of repeated affirmations in charcoal. The words of the affirmations ultimately cover my body, the charcoal acting as both a ritual tool and a purifier. This ritual performance uses movement and repetition to heal transgenerational trauma, build new framework in the brain and reconnect with trans-generational wisdom. The spiral is an important family symbol and sacred geometry found in nature; molecularly and galactically (double helix of our DNA). This work is a vehicle for epigenetics and explores the potential for healing through art. INTREPID III takes place at Historic Inkwell Beach on Martha’s Vineyard, during Art on the Vine.

"By weighting the word “performance” with the preface “ritual”, Ghee not only establishes her process and the documentation of her process as something more than performative, but she also offers a critical assessment and framing for her work as an active, community-centered practice. The spaces she occupies and the histories she channels center Black experience, draw from African diasporic spiritual systems and assert intuition as an essential feature of her artistic process.” - Angela N. Carroll for Black Art In America.

This is a 2:58 min EXCERPT from 15:27 min.

Production Credits

Video Documentation: David Welch
Voiceover: Written and spoken by Phylicia Ghee
Sound Engineer: Evan Kornblum


Phylicia Ghee (Baltimore, MD) is an interdisciplinary visual artist and photographer. Ghee’s artwork documents transition, explores healing, ritual, ceremony & personal rites of passage. Taught by her Grandfather at a very early age, she works in photography, performance, video, fibers, mixed media, installation & painting. Ghee received her BFA in Photography with a Concentration in Curatorial Studies from Maryland Institute College of Art in 2010. She has also exhibited her work at The Baltimore Museum of Art, Galerie Myrtis, The Egyptian Embassy, The Margulies Warehouse (Miami, FL), Studio Art Centers International (Italy), and The Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture. Ghee has exhibited and performed at Art on the Vine (Martha’s Vineyard), Young Collectors Contemporary (Memphis, TN), The Walters Art Museum as 2019 Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize Finalist and The African American Museum (Philadelphia, PA). Ghee was named ‘2019 Best of Baltimore' in the category of Artist. She was named 2020 Baker Artist Award Finalist and 2020 Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize Finalist.

Ghee work extends beyond her personal practice and engages collaboratively with community. She brings art-based ritual to various communities in the forms of intergenerational storytelling, performance, ceremonial rites of passage, installation, sensory therapy and deep meditative rest experiences. Ghee received recognition from Maryland's First Lady Yumi Hogan & the Maryland Behavioral Health Administration for her art and activism in raising awareness on issues and stigmas surrounding mental health and substance use disorder.