Abby Sommer
Undergraduate, Painting

gelatin, Coral Ardisia, plastic bags, fishing line


My piece centers around the endangered plant species, Lindera Melissifolia, or, the Pondberry. Displayed are more than forty-five bags of gelatin hanging from the ceiling via fishing line. Inside the gelatin lies a piece of a Coral Ardisia bush, distinguishable by its red berries and white blossoms. The bags are arranged in a reverse-dripping shape, with many clustered near the ceiling, and few near the bottom.


My goal was to display the beauty of the Pondberry by preserving it in gelatin, so that it looks as if it were floating before the viewer. However, in order to avoid interfering with the endangered plant, I chose to use Coral Ardisia, an invasive species which looks extremely similar to the Pondberry. Although destruction of wetlands is the main reason for the extinction of the Pondberry, it was also threatened by Coral Ardisia, due to their similar habitats and environmental needs. 

My intention is to guide the viewer in learning about the fragility of an ecosystem, and to respect the beauty of an endangered species. Through my work I hope that the audience is able to grasp the importance of conservation, and adopt a drive to preserve the environment around them.