Emma Kline: Dreaming in Place and Dreaming of Place

Emma is an ecology student at The Ohio State University. While her undergraduate research has focused on the behaviors of neotropical bats, she hopes to pursue a career in restoration ecology to help remediate the land that has raised her. Above all else, she seeks to use both science and art to connect with the ecosystems around her, and to communicate the amazing beauty and resilience of these places with others.

The bat Emma is pictured with is a common big-eared bat.


Title: Dreaming in Place and Dreaming of Place

In this time of overwhelming, ecological grief I began learning about the plants around me as a way of staying grounded. Slowly, these relationships spun into color as I developed a dye practice as a way of knowing them as well. The ecosystems around us are the ones that are tangible, and yet our idea of what constitutes nature worth saving often comes from images of places we’ve never met. How can we design solutions to our environmental problems when our attention is somewhere outside of our bodies?

Materials: National Geographic magazines from my childhood; muslin dyed with materials foraged along the Olentangy River in Columbus, Ohio, including Red and White Oak Gall, Red Oak Acorn, Black Walnut, and scrap metal (iron)