The Mercy of Two Adjoined

From the Crevice of Mercy, Vespers

Deep Under Water, So Blue, My Heartbeat

Susurrant Voices from Below

Clarity of Blue

Karla Van Vliet

3 Questions for Karla

What was your process for creating this work?

In the space between silence and the word there is asemic writing, that for me bridges the distance. (Asemic writing is an art form that uses mark-making to form mysterious illegible writing.) I am intrigued with this transitory realm. My mediums are time, gravity, water, and ink, I work on watercolor paper.

What is the significance of the form/genre/medium you chose for this work?

The act of making the gesture, 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.

What is the significance of this work to you?

When working with ink on paper, my color-field works are the size of a book page, I work small because the materials demand it. Also, because their smallness creates intimacy, and requires a close examination. When seen, the pieces give the impression of ancient text, discovered, and waiting to be translated by the viewer. As a poet, there are times I do not yet have the words to express; delving into the asemic work has given me a place to engage in the creative space even when I am word-less.

Visual artist and poet, Karla Van Vliet, is the author of five books. Her newest book Fluency: A Collection of Asemic Writings has just been released from Shanti Arts. She Speaks in Tongues, a collection of poems and asemic writings which is forthcoming from Anhinga Press, Fall 2021. 

Her paintings have been featured in Women Asemic Writers, UTSANGA.IT, Still Point Art Quarterly, Stone Voices Magazine, Champlain’s Lake Rediscovered, and Gate Posts with No Gate: The Leg Paint Project. She is a member of WAAVe Global (Women Asemic Artists & Visual Poets) and Asemic Writing: The New Post-Literate. 

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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