Jasmine Clarke

Jasmine Clarke is a 22 year old photographer from Brooklyn, New York. She currently attends Bard College and will receive 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’m seeing a reflection, an illusion, of me and my world. I can never quite trust a mirror.

A picture can create 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 has: He’s in his hometown, Saint Mary’s, at a particular windy 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. It’s his only dream set in Jamaica. He told me this 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 deja vu.

I feel this driving through my father’s dream. But what’s more is the sensation of jamais vu: foreignness in what should be known. The moon you see, the air you breathe, the flowers you smell are 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 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 take on higher meaning. I uncover what is hidden. I desire the uncanny. An obscured face, a wet flower, a dark shadow.

To view more of Jasmine’s work please visit her website.