Minor Imperfections (2012 – present)
My ongoing photography-based series, Minor Imperfections, reveals the hidden experience of
insidious cycles of my mental illness. I began this project in 2012, working intermittently, until I suffered a major depressive episode in 2020 that renewed my compulsion to create this imagery. To illustrate my struggle, I utilize collage to craft disjointed images of my face that evoke the trials of anxiety and depression. The face is our primary physical identifier, often considered the most reflective of our internal selves.
When I rupture my face into multiple pieces and collage it back together it signifies my attempt to reassemble my identity after a psychological breakdown. I strive for perfection, yet, after this reconstructive surgery, the parts fail to reunify. The resulting images leave fractured seams that illuminate my fragmented relationship with myself. This artwork indicates one of the primary
symptoms of my mental illness— body dysmorphia, the obsession with perceived physical flaws. This distorted relationship with my appearance extends to a painfully disrupted relationship with the world around me.
In both my artwork and psyche, I scrutinize my body and mind. I continuously break, then gather and reassemble pieces of myself. My search for wholeness is an ongoing component of my creative
practice. I invite the viewer into my predicament to cultivate connection, empathy, and collective
Annie Claflin (American, b. 1978 Brookline, MA) is an artist whose practice is both
autobiographical and introspective. She left the cold but familiar Northeast in search of warmth and happiness in the California sunshine where she incorporates art into her daily wellness routine. Using photography, collage, and text, Claflin investigates her identity in relation to home, the trials of motherhood, and the internal narrative that drives her mental health. Whether documenting her family’s everyday life, venturing to the beach with her camera, or making imagery of herself, Claflin always finds solace in artwork that quiets her feelings of uncertainty.
Claflin’s photographs have been featured in numerous publications and included in exhibitions at The Griffin Museum of Photography, The Los Angeles Center of Photography, and Foley Gallery, among others. In 2021, she was a finalist for The Kuala Lumpur Photo Awards and her work from the Minor Imperfections project is included in the 2021 KLPA exhibition at GMBB, Malaysia in February and March of 2022. Claflin holds a BFA in Photography from Massachusetts College of Arts + Design and an MS in Arts Administration from Boston University.
Contact Annie Claflin