Anna Leigh Clem

Photo-based Artist
    
Floating Petals - book
Location: Marblehead, MA
Nationality: American
Biography: Anna Leigh Clem  is an artist who works with photography, text, book arts, video, sculpture, and other media to investigate the nature of ephemerality. Compelled by the ineffable secrets embedded in memories, dreams, and childhood, her work... MORE
Public Story
Floating Petals - book
Copyright Anna Leigh Clem 2022
Updated May 2020
Topics Abstract, Beauty, Books, Children, Conceptual, Emotion, Family, Fear, Fine Art, Friends + Family, Loss, Mixed Medium, Photography, Texture, Yearning, Youth
(2020)
Handmade paper created from family photographs
Handmade book in clamshell box, 10"x10.75" (closed)

In my series Floating Petals, I explore my unrequited longing for the refuge and freedom of imagination inherent in the place that I once called home. Like my set of paper sculptures, the accordion book is made of handmade paper created from mulched family photographs taken within my childhood garden and added dried flowers and plant matter from my parent’s present-day garden. Once shredded, the pieces were brought back together to take on new form. Blindly digging for photo fragments in the murky water felt analogous to the search for memories and the loss of detail as remembrance fades. Together, with petals of new and old, I created my own gardens in which to explore.

Poem on backside:

Photos of the garden fall away, some as petals, the rest as pulp. Stirring up the sediment now settled at the bottom, I shift the frame as if sifting for gold. First suspended, the shreds are then compressed in the mould. The garden as it was, as it is, in my now scattered mind. But I cannot find the piece I thought was there. Digging, darkly reaching, I am fishing for the fragment to fill in what is bare. Until there is nothing left in the basin. All together, they make a whole: new parchment with which I write my poem.
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