Dust Blooms investigates the ability of flowers to not only provide beauty but to help filter atmospheric particulate matter (PM), otherwise known as dust, from natural sources such as pollen and anthropogenic sources such as industrial and vehicular emissions and tire abrasion. PM presents a huge threat to human health, especially in cities where there is relatively more pollution and less vegetation to filter it. Dust Blooms juxtaposes the beauty and function of urban flora using a synthesis of artistic and scientific methods to create awareness about the every-day importance of ecosystem services in cities.
Alexandra R. Toland develops research narratives in artistic ecology. She is a visual artist and environmental planner with a doctorate degree from the TU-Berlin Institute for Ecology.