Anna Leigh Clem

Photographer
    
The Perennial Garden
Location: Marblehead, MA
Nationality: American
Biography: Anna Leigh Clem  is a photo-based artist working with book arts, text, video, sculpture, and other media to explore and portray her longings for innocence and connection with the natural world. Compelled by the secrets inherent in memories,... read on
Public Story
The Perennial Garden
(2016–21)
Installation of pigment prints, altered prints, and found/altered objects

My childhood home on Bloomfield Street no longer exists. Although it was just an ordinary building with a backyard garden in Hoboken, New Jersey, it was a sanctuary to me, a place of magic and imagination. With my childhood haven literally razed and replaced, I find myself returning there in my mind, and in my work, searching for what has been lost in adulthood. Underneath the layers of time lies a deep desire for the refuge and freedom of imagination that I thought I would always have. By excavating remembered stories, dreams, found objects and family photographs, I give form to my fascination with this yearning.

The Perennial Garden begins with prints of my house and garden as seen on Google Maps, collaged family photos with ruptured surfaces, surreal sculptures made with bricks and other detritus, photographs with flaking emulsion, and self-portraits in my present-day living room. The series chronicles my gazing back at the past, cloaked in its golden glow, obsessing over preservation, questioning the photograph’s role as a crutch for memory, and finally embracing the medium as a way back to imagination, as the process of making art is my present-day sanctuary.
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Also by Anna Leigh Clem —

VISUAL STORY

Tucked into the Garden Bed

By Anna Leigh Clem — (2020–2021) Archival pigment prints, varied sizes Inspired by   my childhood garden, which no..
VISUAL STORY

Visitor

By Anna Leigh Clem / Somerville — (2020–ongoing) Archival pigment prints I walk the city streets, seeking solace within this new..
VISUAL STORY

Blue Cento

By Anna Leigh Clem — (Printed 2019–20) 9”x11” toned cyanotype prints on masa paper The sensation of being stuck..
VISUAL STORY

The Rings of My Limbs

By Anna Leigh Clem / Souris, Prince Edward Island — (2013) Archival pigment prints, 11"x14" There’s a part of me that is ready to fall away. I..
VISUAL STORY

Floating Petals - paper sculptures

By Anna Leigh Clem — (2020) Handmade, one of a kind paper sculptures created from family photographs Set of 18,..
VISUAL STORY

I walk to break free of the fear.

By Anna Leigh Clem / Souris, Prince Edward Island — (2010–11) Handmade, softcover accordion book in clamshell box, 7"x15" (closed) My accordion..
VISUAL STORY

Floating Petals - book

By Anna Leigh Clem — (2020) Handmade paper created from family photographs Handmade book in clamshell box, 10"x10.75"..
VISUAL STORY

The Perennial Garden (book) WIP

By Anna Leigh Clem — (2021) My childhood home on Bloomfield Street no longer exists. Although it was just an ordinary building..
VISUAL STORY

Turning

By Anna Leigh Clem — (2017–20) Statement coming soon.
VISUAL STORY

shapeshifter

By Anna Leigh Clem / Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona — (2016) Handmade, hardcover accordion book, 8.5" x 5.5" (closed) I dive into the canyon and begin..
VISUAL STORY

Holes

By Anna Leigh Clem / Hudson Valley, New York — (2012–16) A hole has more presence than a filled spot, and I have come to notice a few. They are..
VISUAL STORY

To be oneself completely

By Anna Leigh Clem / Hudson Valley, NY — (2012–14) Archival pigment prints, 10"x14" When I step out the door to photograph, whether..
VISUAL STORY

Where the Road Goes

By Anna Leigh Clem / County Cork, Ireland — (2011) While my stay in Ireland was brief, every passing moment soaked through to a heeding heart. It is..
VISUAL STORY

grounded

By Anna Leigh Clem / New Paltz, NY — (2014) Softcover, 8.25"x5.25" book (closed) Teenage years are laden with fear, wonder, and..
VISUAL STORY

It will become something

By Anna Leigh Clem — (2011–12) Hardcover, 8"x8" book (closed) As we move away from the purity of our births, we..
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