Visitor

(2020–21)

While I now call this place “home,” I am aware that my residency is transient, that I am simply a visitor. I have been in limbo ever since I moved away from my childhood home two decades ago. It was then that I first realized everything is temporary: innocence, homes, and life. From an adult perspective, I have come to recognize this constant shift through experience.

Tucked into the Garden Bed

(2020–21)

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.

Tucked into the Garden Bed (installation)

(2022)

A small installation from the series with anthotype pigment chart, altered natural objects, and slugs made from locally dug clay.

In Her Garden

(2021)

I still dream of a garden, of a place in which to be innocent again. The video piece, In Her Garden, connects past and present selves through footage from a childhood garden, a green space from adulthood, and a new, rainy day garden. Throughout the three sections, there is a call-and-response between a child and an adult voice, yearning for something beyond the garden of childhood.

Floating Petals

(2020)

Floating Petals is a set of handmade paper sculptures created from a selection of family photographs taken within my childhood garden, combined with dried flowers and plant matter from my parents' present-day garden. Once shredded, the fragments of photographs were brought back together to take on new form.

Floating Petals (book)

(2020)

Like my set of paper sculptures, the accordion book is made of handmade paper created from family photographs combined with dried plant matter from my parents' present-day garden. Together, with petals of new and old, I have created my own gardens in which to explore.

The Perennial Garden

(2016–21)

With my childhood sanctuary literally razed and replaced, I find myself returning there in my mind, and in my work, searching for what has been lost in adulthood. By excavating remembered stories, dreams, family photographs and found objects, I have found that underneath the layers lies a deep desire for the refuge and freedom of imagination that I thought I would always have.

The Perennial Garden (book) WIP

(2021)

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

Anna Leigh Clem

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.
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