past exhibitions

In Black and White: Landscape Prints by Claire Van Vliet

May 26 - July 11, 1999

Claire Van Vliet was born in 1933 in Ottawa, Canada. During part of her early childhood she lived on Salisbury Plain near the early fortification rings and Stonehenge. Her father was a pilot at the air base. After her family returned to Canada, they spent every summer in the Bush, staying at lakes that have rocky shores and weather-blasted trees. When she was twelve her family moved to Calgary, Alberta and she attended school in Banff, a town in the heart of the Canadian Rockies.

From these childhood surroundings and their attendant topographical memories, landscapes dominated by significant rock formations became an abiding imagery in Van Vliet's work. She recalls what sparked her interest in landscape:

We moved almost every year of my childhood and so the landscape was always changing. We crossed the Atlantic twice and I remember the icebergs. I have very strong memories of place starting from two years of age. We had an English nanny and she took us on long walks every day no matter what the weather until I entered school at six so I was in the landscape a lot. I suspect those walks were the most formative, added to every summer living at a northern lake after we returned to Canada. Rainy Lake in Ontario was where we were most often and the cabin was ten miles by water from the nearest road.

—excerpt from In Black and White: Landscape Prints by Claire Van Vliet

Claire Van Vliet
Moon, Kilclooney More County Donegal Ireland, 1998
Vitreograph on Stonehenge paper
Printed by Judith O’Rourke and Brian Yates
Edition 30