Anna Leigh Clem

Floating Petals (book)
Location: Cambridge, MA
Nationality: American
Biography: Anna Leigh Clem is a photo-based artist working with book arts, text, sculpture, and other media to explore and portray her unconscious ruminations. Compelled by the secret worlds inherent in memories, dreams, and childhood, her work aims to... read on
Public Story
Floating Petals (book)
Credits: anna leigh clem
Updated: 05/23/20

Handmade paper created from family photographs
Pigment prints on cotton rag, artist's book, box is 10"x10.75" when closed

Floating Petals is the latest chapter in my garden series, wherein 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 a selection of family photographs taken within my childhood garden, combined with dried flowers and plant matter from the garden in which I now reside. Once shredded, the fragments of photographs were brought back together to take on new form. I found the process similar to the search for memories and the loss of detail as remembrance fades. The new paper looks like conglomerate rock, not dissimilar to what my precious memories, signified by the chosen photographs, have become after so many years of use. Together, with petals of new and old, I have created my own gardens 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.

By Anna Leigh Clem —


Floating Petals

By Anna Leigh Clem — (2020) Handmade, one of a kind paper sculptures created from family photographs Pigment prints on cotton rag, set of 18, 8”x10” each My..

I walk to break free of the fear.

By Anna Leigh Clem — (2010-11) My accordion book I walk to break free of the fear. is an illustration of inner mind as sanctuary in the form of a walking meditation...

The Perennial Garden (WIP)

By Anna Leigh Clem — (2012-2020) My childhood home and its’ garden in Hoboken, New Jersey, which no longer exist physically, represent a sanctuary that I feel I..


By Anna Leigh Clem — (2017-2020) Statement coming soon.


By Anna Leigh Clem — (2016) I dive into the canyon and begin to fly. Never have I soared like this before, not since my last flying dream. An infinite expanse of..


By Anna Leigh Clem — (2012-2016) A hole has more presence than a filled spot, and I have come to notice a few. They are mysterious. How far down does it go, and where..

To be oneself completely

By Anna Leigh Clem — (2012-2014) When I step out the door to photograph, whether in my backyard or an unfamiliar landscape, my intentions are at first ambiguous. Like..

Where the Road Goes

By Anna Leigh Clem — (2011) While my stay in Ireland was brief, every passing moment soaked through to a heeding heart. It is here that I escape to now. Within this..


By Anna Leigh Clem — (2014) Teenage years are laden with fear, wonder, and self-doubt. In attempt to dissect that strange age as well as cope with my own bittersweet..

It will become something

By Anna Leigh Clem — (2011-12) As we move away from the purity of our births, we become complex and gnarled like trunks of trees. Underneath all the layers, the core..
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