Girl Plays with Snake by Clare Strand comprises images sourced from the darkest recesses of the artist’s extensive archive. The project continues Strand’s decades-long engagement with the scrapbooks, magazines and photographs that she has drawn together since her mid-teens. In this iteration of Strand’s ongoing research and reflection, women and girls are pictured holding, playing with and gazing fondly at snakes. Key to understanding the intention of the imagery is the inclusion of found and automatically generated texts orchestrated by Strand, which touch on the absurd, the intimate, the erotic and the uncanny.
Siegfried Kracauer would recognise Strand as a dedicated “Rag Picker”. She describes her working method as being like "rolling in newly cut grass and seeing what you pick up on your jumper”. Strand’s constantly evolving practice brings together intensive research, deadpan humour and insights into popular culture. She shifts from the mysterious and the absurd to understand public obsessions, often via trickery and manipulation. Recently exhibited work includes machines to encourage entropy, web programmes, looped films and intricate photographic constructions subverting, reimagining and manipulating the medium’s origins.