Fruit of Society

Isabella Minkin
Sophomore, Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design




The piece titled Fruit of Society is a canvas collage. The focal point is a girl being immersed in the enjoyment and destruction of society. The four hands circling the girl’s face are all created from hand embroidery. Each hand represents an element of our world and society. The blue hand is water, pink is consumerism, yellow is waste and green is the land. The hands are surrounded by elements of each theme, pulling the attention around the composition to highlight the ever-growing issues with our relationship with the environment.

Fruit of Society is a collage piece that uses embroidery, magazine paper, and paint. The work represents how we are influenced and “pulled” toward specific actions or parts of the world around us. The article has four central embroidered hands representing consumption, land, water, and Waste. The hand motions towards the woman in the center of the work; a different theme surrounds each hand: Animal wildlife, Travel and geography, Food and culture, and consumption and bodily waste. In creating this piece, I used recycled materials for the entire collage, using old string to embroider the hands and old magazines destined for the trash. I chose a different fabric for the hands to show the juxtaposition between humans’ influence on our world and the outcome that it produces. We take something as delicate as “fruit” and transform it into a jam or puree, creating a new use and destruction. The embroidery process took about a week, and due to the thickness of the canvas numbed my fingers; after the embroidery, I took thick paint to create dimension on the string and differentiate the hands from the collage enough to stand out but also be incorporated it into the rest of the piece. The segments of the collage mentioned previously include animals, specifically ones that tend to be endangered or heading in that direction. Ones with ecosystems have been broken down due to urban sprawl and gentrification. This segment is next to the lush trees and plants that adorn the piece’s left side and are direct across from the skyscraper buildings. The yellow hand, which represents waste, gestures to the green arrow, which means land showing the recognition of each development but not giving them a wholly connected relationship. The green hand is placed below the pink, representing human consumption that eventually filters into our natural areas and sources when disposed of. Pink was chosen as the consumption color due to its association with the Greek god Aphrodite, who represents sex, vanity, and beauty. While this in itself is not a piece of the scientific elements of the collage, it adds an explanation for my design choices. Lastly, the blue hand at the bottom left corner represents water. Our oceans are not only the ecosystem that covers most of our planet, but it is also the least explored, as only 5% of it has been researched by scientists. It is often the center of pollution but is also forgotten when considering waste and its cause and effects. I placed it in the corner to point to the issue with the poles and our melting ice caps; while the poles are located at the top and bottom of the globe, their problems are often mentioned and quickly forgotten. The hand points towards the rest of the composition showing that water is connected to all the other entities in the piece. It is essential to most of what we create and do, and our misuse makes ever-growing issues.