Clare Benson

Clare Benson, "drift"

Archival pigment prints mounted on board


Clare Benson is a photographer and interdisciplinary artist from the northern reaches of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Her work explores themes of family history, tradition, science, and mythology. She received her MFA from the University of Arizona and her BFA from Central Michigan University. In 2014-15 she was the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship to Arctic Sweden, where she worked alongside space scientists and indigenous Sami reindeer herders. Her first book, The Shepherd’s Daughter, was published in 2017 by Photolucida, in receipt of the Critical Mass Book Award. Benson's work has been featured in exhibitions, screenings, and publications across the US and internationally.

Artist Statement

My creative language is one of metaphors, and my studio work suggests connections between things that may not seem to be related: microcosms of family histories, ancestral tradition, collections, and ritual; macrocosms of seeable night skies, measurable light, immeasurable darkness, and the power of time to turn science and knowledge into myth. Through photography, video, and installation, I explore what it means to be human amidst the rest of nature—here on earth, a perfect distance from the sun.