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    Elexus Pettigrew
    Bible Study
    On view April 11 - 30, 2022

    In her Homepage projects, Elexus Pettigrew scratches at her wounded relationship to Christianity and reflects on growing up as a preacher’s kid who was in the closet, Black, and a woman. When making the collage This Is America, she questioned if church is becoming more modern or returning to stereotypes of what a Black church and Black congregants are supposed to be. For the video Bible Study, Pettigrew turned against her programming to not deface the bible, and instead returned to a childhood urge to express herself on the pages. Speaking through the permanent marker, she crosses out and reacts to passages she has battled with, letting memories guide her hand as she finds freedom where barriers once were. Footage from sermons and pop culture portrayals of Black church hover over the main video like thoughtful recollections and pop-up windows that can’t be closed.

    “Religion is a guide, and a lifestyle for some, but love is something that is free and doesn’t have barriers, so in doing this I realized the impact of why I battled with Christianity. There was a lack of room to express but to be orderly and follow rules. As human beings, we are given the gift of life and room to express ourselves within our duality. Our ability to have a sense of balance is what makes us who we are. This piece is not to knock Christianity or Catholicism, but to pose a question of when is there room for love and acceptance when you are constantly being controlled and told what to do or who to be?”

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