Anna Clarén

Swedish, 1972–present

Clarén is one of the most recognized Swedish photographers. Her breakthrough came with the photo series Holding (2006), for which she photographed daily life in the summer months of 2005. The intimate images and frank self-portraits revealing private mood became her photographic signature in the projects that followed, including Close to Home (2013) and When Everything Changed (2018). Clarén is also a Head of Education at the Nordic School of Photography.

Clarén’s awareness of the impermanent nature of life and everything in the world has always been strong in her. It has given rise to a desire to stop time that has been a driving force in my work as a photographer.

Clarén bought her first camera as a nine-year-old. What captured her interest was the familiar, the mundane and the intimate; family, home and friends. “The pictures from the ‘70s of my childhood are now thin and sheer, the colours distorted. Just what I was trying to prevent has happened to all the evidence; the bad quality of the colour film has made the images slowly fade away. And that’s the way it is. There is no escaping the impermanence. And yet I cling to my camera.”