Making a Fruit of Me

In ‘Making a Fruit of Me: The Science-Fortified Woman’, Molly Bertheaud creates a lush immersive environment with her large-scale machine knit/hand-embroidered tapestries, detailed painted compositions, and sculptural installations.

Her carnivalesque scenes of birdwomen explore themes of science fiction, mortality, and ecology. Using zoological symbolism, she explores individuality and industrialization through the role of women and mothers and the fragility of textiles and, therefore of history.  

Why are swans and cranes mostly monogamous? What does it feel like to drop your eggs in a river like a dragonfly or a frog and have nothing more to do with your progeny? 

Scientific advancements in women’s health and the industrialization of textile production changed humanity’s interaction with our individuality, now that many are not bound to baby or loom. But are they escapable? A womb and a baby complicate the lofty ideals of society, and the environmental consequences of our current relationship with textiles and materials are dire. There is beauty and absurdity in wombs as machines for life. 

These works explore the tensions between lofty social ideals and the limitations of our biological reality. Is biology our foil? Should we look at ourselves more objectively, like a scientist at a bird…?

Unknown Arrows
5×3.5 ft
Industrially Knit tapestry with painting and embroidery