Anna Leigh Clem

Tucked into the Garden Bed - WIP
Location: Somerville, 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
Private Story
Tucked into the Garden Bed - WIP
Credits: anna leigh clem
Updated: 01/19/21
Archived as:  ,
(2020- )

There is wilderness beyond the tree line, outside my scope and reach.
Tall fences surround a garden, dark, unbreakable mystery.
The layers of my being unraveling like many pink petals of spring.
I’m holding on to that fleeting thing.
Like the butterfly with holes in its wings, only dust between my fingers.
I learned that I cannot keep.

During the summer of COVID-19, I took refuge in gardens near my parent’s house, witnessing the full cycle; from the first spears of growth until their inevitable demise. Is there a way to preserve beauty beyond its time? I took pictures of what I saw there, trying to capture the essence of place, and myself in it.

Entranced by the vibrancy of the summer season, I turned to the Anthotype photographic process. Using the flower’s pigment to make light-sensitive emulsions, my photographs were then impressed upon the botanical distillations by the sun’s rays. I admired the flowers, but in the end, I used them in order to create, to make something more lasting than a bloom. The process became an obsession, an act of collection and preservation before the season's end. The results are like fossils, emphasizing the photograph’s inherent stillness and marked "death" of the subject.

This summer in gardens initially provided a counterbalance to personal and greater uncertainties, and became an exercise in acceptance, of petals falling to the ground.

Also by Anna Leigh Clem —


The Perennial Garden (installation)

By Anna Leigh Clem — (2016-2021) My childhood home on Bloomfield Street no longer exists. Although it was just an ordinary..


By Anna Leigh Clem — (2020- ) I walk the city streets of my current residence, searching for solace within this new place. It has..

The Home is Inside

By Anna Leigh Clem / Souris, Prince Edward Island — (2015-17) After my childhood home suffered from a fire, “home” became illusive. We moved to a..


By Anna Leigh Clem

Fragility Analysis

By Anna Leigh Clem


By Anna Leigh Clem / Souris, Prince Edward Island — Breaking the still water's silence, I dream deeply and find myself back where I once was.

Dancing with Myself

By Anna Leigh Clem / Souris, Prince Edward Island — Confrontations of growing up.

A Searching (for Something)

By Anna Leigh Clem / Rochester, NY — There and back again.
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