By Anna Creagan
Larissa McGinnity, from Beaver Island, Michigan, has a porcelain art piece in the center of the Fountain Street Church ArtPrize venue. McGinnity is a full time artist that spent a couple months creating her art entry called “6 Years + 1 Day = Protection for Criminals.” This sculpture depicts a naked woman crying into her hand with the Michigan Statute of Limitations on her back like a blanket.
The piece shows the pain and suffering women face when trying to press charges and get justice when nude photos of them are posted on the internet without their consent. McGinnity made this piece from personal experience in a situation where she felt her own rights were out of her control. This inspired her to create this piece.
“I became aware of a law that I feel the way it’s set up was really sort of problematic for the type of victim it’s supposed to be protecting,” she said. “I just felt like, you know, the way that it’s written is not doing much good in the situation that most people find themselves in. I was sort of expressing my frustration, you know, hoping to raise awareness and maybe make some changes.”
McGinnity said she was trying to raise awareness and inform the public of this law before it was too late. She felt that when those types of images are spread, it can take a long time for victims to find out.
“I mean, not even from myself, but from other stories of women who are like, yah I just heard from the grapevine, you know, like, ‘hey, I saw you on a porn site,’ so oh my gosh, you know, and they try to like, take steps to, you know you can take the images down and you know, go to the police and all that and you go, ‘can I press charges?’ and they’re like, ‘no, they posted it over six years ago.’ And it’s like, uh excuse me, the images were up yesterday, like, how?”
Six years might seem like a long time, but McGinnity’s piece illustrates how one extra day can hurt a victim forever. “Every day those images are up, there needs to be a fine for the people that posted them. Because that would encourage them to be taken down as soon as possible and that would be the best for people.”