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In 2020, McGill found herself having conversations with friends regarding sexual abuse and sexual identity always circling back to spending their formative years immersed in the Evangelical church’s Purity Culture: a strict stereotype based binary of gender and sexual control across religion, culture, and the globe. This inspired McGill to create a podcast asking people to share their stories, hear testimonies from experts, and collaborate in the healing process of art-making.
Community, connection, and faith are some of the praiseworthy experiences Christianity offers, all the while including the tenet of Purity Culture, an essential component of the Evangelical Christian life. But as history has taught us, where we limit freedoms and mandate dogmas, we corrupt beautiful ideas in order to control others and camouflage unethical behavior.
The conversations from the podcast, “Pure to Pieces,” examine how we construct and deconstruct our own belief systems and transform our mindsets in ways that inflict pain and in ways that heal. It is necessary for us to hold space for contradicting thoughts because there is no one way right way of thinking. Any creed that does not allow for curiosity and critical thinking propels hurt, war, and hatred. It is crucial that people conceive of the world, its constructs, its paradigms and paradoxes in antithetical ways and share these views in a multitude of equally contrasting mediums. The result is a kaleidoscope of individuals who, by seeking their own truth, make the world more diverse, beautiful, and real.
Many of us were raised to think in black and white, right and wrong, good and evil. This work exists to subjugate binary thinking to allow for a broad, colorful spectrum of reflection and understanding. The work you see before you is a celebration of the healing place of art in people’s lives. The project not only allowed the artist to transform her mindset and accept the freedom to embrace an evolving truth, but many others used the platform to come out in their sexual identity, to expose and emerge from their history of abuse and harm, and to replace the shame that insults our souls with the brilliance of self-respect and love. McGill learned that it is each of our duties to "come out” to and for ourselves no matter the cultural or religious dogma at play and by doing so, bring a sacredness and beauty to the world that is each of ours to give.
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