Anna Leigh Clem is an artist working with photography and other mediums to explore and portray her unconscious ruminations. Compelled by the secret worlds inherent in memories, dreams, and childhood, her work aims to recreate these otherwise invisible realms. Clem received the Robert Elder Scholarship in 2008 and was selected as an Honorable Mention in the 2015 FotoVisura Grant. Her work has been shown at the Center for Photography at Woodstock, Foley Gallery, Visual Studies Workshop, and Davis Orton Gallery. Her publications are held in the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Yale University and the Franklin Furnace Artists’ Book Collection at Pratt Institute.
As a child, Anna’s imagination was inspired by the small magical garden behind her home within the urban enclave of Hoboken, New Jersey. Some years later, Clem attended high school in New Paltz, New York where she discovered photography and the greater natural world. In 2012, she graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology with a degree in fine-art photography. Since then, Anna has returned to the Hudson Valley as a working artist.
The Home is Inside
After my childhood home suffered from a fire, “home” became elusive. We moved to a new residence for the first time. I was in an in-between state, displaced. Even after we moved back in once repairs were made, the disruption made a wrinkle in my experience of home. We moved away shortly after. Since then, “home” has become an ephemeral space. I sense it in the woods sometimes, hidden between the trees. Home is but a feeling, fleeting.
I use instant film to energize my creative process: the emergence of each image adds an element of magic to the experience. What would otherwise be a straightforward photograph is layered with serendipity, lending to the content’s ethereality. The pinhole Polaroid process is particularly sympathetic to making self-portraits, as I am able to set up the composition, open the shutter and take my place within the frame. Produced without self-timer or cable release, the photograph records my spontaneous performance within the composition allowing for both the carefully planned and the accidental.
Eyes in the Evergreen
Within Plain Sight
To view more of Anna Leigh Clem’s work please visit her website.