by Karla Van Vliet


Artist Statement: 

In the space between silence and the word there is asemic writing, which for me bridges the distance. As both an artist and poet I am intrigued with this transitory realm. The act of making the gesture of writing, generating marks on the page, be it letter or character, dendritic form or simple line and shape, keeps me engaged in the practice of expression and in conversation with what is emerging from my unconscious to be communicated.


I am also an Integrative Dreamwork analyst; this study of the unconscious and close attention to the experiential knowledge that come from dreams has a deep influence on my work. It was a dream of asemic writing that first prompted me to start experimenting with this form directly.


My works in acrylic on canvas are created with thin layers of color which create dynamic fields that I write over. When working with ink on paper my works are often the size of a book page, so when seen, it is as if they were an ancient text, discovered and waiting to be translated by the viewer. I hope to create a sense of stillness where feeling can open and be experienced.


Artist Bio:

Visual artist and poet, Karla Van Vliet, blends genres in her asemic writings. Van Vliet engages in asemic writing as a radical act, that of not being silenced in this time where she is often at a loss for words. Using the gesture of writing she explores the transitory realm between the internal experience and expression. Her works in acrylic on canvas and ink on paper, are influenced by landscape, ancient tests, and the liminal knowing of dreams.


Van Vliet’s paintings have been featured in Still Point Art Quarterly, Stone Voices Magazine, Champlain’s Lake Rediscovered, and Gate Posts with No Gate: The Leg Paint Project. Her books, From the Book of Remembrance (Shanti Arts, 2015) and The River From My Mouth (Shanti Arts, 2016,)  are collections of poems and paintings. A collection of her asemic writing is forthcoming from Shanti Arts in 2020.


Her art has been shown in such galleries as Helen Day Art Center, Still Point Art Gallery, Women in the Arts at the Chaffee Art Center co-sponsored with the National Museum of Women in the Arts and Champlain’s Lake Rediscovered, which toured the north-east, among others. She studied Painting and sculpture at Bennington College. She holds a BA from Goddard College and an MFA in poetry from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Karla is a co-founder and editor of deLuge Journal. She lives in Vermont, USA.

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