Vernal Pond 4282, Belle Isle, Detroit, Michigan as a part of Access Arts Belle Isle Art Exhibit 

Vernal Pond 545, Ferndale, Michigan

Vernal Ponds are temporary wetlands that provide habitat for many species including amphibians. These installations employ common everyday objects as sound material to mimic frog calls and rely on viewer interaction to exist. They are records of attempts at making sound inducing actions that aim to resemble a chorus of frog calls. 


Undoubtedly, simulations are never the real thing; the end result is far from sounding as if a vernal pond is near. Instead, Vernal Ponds calls into question the irony of mimicking beings known as environmental indicators by using man-made materials whose industry aids in the demise of our wetland ecosystems. This translates to the broader theme of our endless quest to respect and care for nature while simultaneously augmenting the problem.

This project began after I became a volunteer Frog and Toad Surveyor for the Friends of the Rouge River (2009). In order to survey frogs, one must memorize all frog calls that may be encountered in a specified area. Many of the frog calls had sound descriptors using human action with man-made objects, such as running a finger down a fine tooth comb or dragging a finger along a balloon. This aspect of the information not only helped me memorize calls, but began a new way of exploration of art in ecology.

© 2020 Jacklyn Brickman | Visual artist exploring where humans connect with the environment. | brickman.jacklyn@gmail.com