Anna Leigh Clem

Photographer
    
The Perennial Garden (book) WIP
Location: Somerville, 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 (book) WIP
Credits: anna leigh clem
Date of Work: 04/01/12 - 05/31/20
Updated: 05/04/20
(2021)

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 demonstrate 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 process of 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.

In its book format, The Perennial Garden connects the past and present tense through cutouts between pages, creating an interactive experience for the viewer.
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Also by Anna Leigh Clem —

VISUAL STORY

Tucked into the Garden Bed - WIP

By Anna Leigh Clem — (2020–21) During the summer of COVID-19, I took refuge in gardens near my parent’s house,..
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The Perennial Garden (installation) WIP

By Anna Leigh Clem / Somerville, MA — (2016–21) My childhood home on Bloomfield Street no longer exists. Although it was just an ordinary..
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Blue Cento

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

By Anna Leigh Clem / Souris, Prince Edward Island — (2013) There’s a part of me that is ready to fall away. I keep searching for the whole, and still I..
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Floating Petals - paper sculptures

By Anna Leigh Clem — (2020) Handmade, one of a kind paper sculptures created from family photographs Pigment prints on cotton..
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I walk to break free of the fear.

By Anna Leigh Clem / Souris, Prince Edward Island — (2010–11) My accordion book I walk to break free of the fear. is an illustration of inner mind as..
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Floating Petals - book

By Anna Leigh Clem — (2020) Handmade paper created from family photographs Pigment prints on cotton rag, artist's book, box..
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Turning

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

shapeshifter

By Anna Leigh Clem / Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona — (2016) I dive into the canyon and begin to fly. Never have I soared like this before, not since my last..
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) When I step out the door to photograph, whether in my backyard or an unfamiliar landscape,..
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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..
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grounded

By Anna Leigh Clem / New Paltz, NY — (2014) Teenage years are laden with fear, wonder, and self-doubt. In attempt to dissect that strange age as..
VISUAL STORY

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..
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