Jasmine Clarke: 2018 Lenscratch Student Prize Honorable Mention
Congratulations to Jasmine Clarke for receiving Honorable Mention in the 2018 Lenscratch Student Award and being awarded a BA in Photography from Bard College in New York. Her work celebrates the best parts of the photographic journey – the magic and possibility of the photograph itself and the stories that can be told without words. Her series, Shadow of the Palm, is in some ways is a visual poem that speaks to memory, place, dreams, and wonder, moving us through worlds that straddle the unconscious and reality. Jasmine is a finalist in the Kuala Lumpur Portrait Photo Awards and will be in their show at the Whitebox Gallery, PUBLIKA in Kuala Lumpur from September 8th to September 17th, 2018 .
Jasmine Clarke is a 22 year old photographer from Brooklyn, New York. She currently attended Bard College and received her BA in Photography in May 2018. Inspired by the historical links between nature and mysticism, her images focus on the surreal qualities of our waking world. She is interested in dreams and magical realism, and likes to play with the tension between fiction and reality to create ethereal and alluring images.
Shadow of the Palm
When I look in the mirror, I want to believe that what I am seeing is an extension of myself even though I know that it isn’t. I am seeing a reflection (an illusion) of me and my world. I can never quite trust a mirror.
A picture creates a similar false sense of reality. The nature of photography tells us that what we are seeing is true, but it’s not. It is a selective truth, or even a fiction.
One night in Jamaica, as my father and I drove through the mountains, he described a recurring dream: he is in his hometown, Saint Mary’s, at a certain winding road that’s shaped like an N, trying to catch the bus. He misses it and has to run up the mountain through the bush and slide down the other side to catch it. This is his only dream set in Jamaica. He told me as we approached the N. I listened while chewing on my sugar cane. It’s strange hearing about a dreamscape while physically going through it—like déjà vu.
I feel this sense of familiarity driving through my father’s dream. But what’s more overwhelming is the sensation of jamais vu: foreignness in what should be known. The moon you see, the air you breathe, and the flowers you smell are all suddenly unfamiliar. You’ve moved, traveled—maybe even transcended—although you don’t know to where. You look in the mirror and see yourself, but can’t be sure that it’s the same reflection you saw yesterday.
This is why I photograph: to capture a trace of the unexplainable. My pictures are where dreams meet the physical world and earthly things takes on higher meaning. I search for the uncanny. I uncover what is hidden. An obscured face, a wet flower, a dark shadow. – Jasmine Clarke
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