Anna Leigh Clem

Photographer
    
Tucked into the Garden Bed
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
Tucked into the Garden Bed
(2020–ongoing)

During the summer of COVID-19, I took refuge in gardens near my parents' 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 photos 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 garden photographs were impressed upon the botanical distillations by the sun’s rays. I admired the flowers, but in the end, I used them 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, or jars of preserves, 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.
433

Also by Anna Leigh Clem —

VISUAL STORY

The Perennial Garden (installation)

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

Visitor

By Anna Leigh Clem — (2020–ongoing) I walk the city streets, seeking solace within this new place—it has been decades..
VISUAL STORY

Blue Cento

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

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..
VISUAL STORY

Floating Petals - paper sculptures

By Anna Leigh Clem — (2020) Handmade, one of a kind paper sculptures created from family photographs Pigment prints on cotton..
VISUAL STORY

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..
VISUAL STORY

Floating Petals - book

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