Ellen Knudson – Talisman


© 2019
edition of 50
dimensions in inches: 4.625 x 5.75 x .5

In stock

about this piece

About this piece:

Talisman is an offering in support of artists and creative people that might be feeling alone in the world these days. Since 2016, as an artist (and as a human being) I have found it difficult to feel motivated while the worst traits of humanity have not only surfaced in our country, but are being celebrated. Writers and artists before us have lived through similarly poisonous times and created iconic works despite the tumultuous climate. Talisman is an amulet, a charm to keep with us. The linocut image of the boat-tailed grackle is intended to be a familiar spirit to guide us through rough territory. In times like these, it helps to keep our friends close.

The text of the book is written by the artist, and is meant to be a promise and an invocation of support for one another as artists in the world that seems so unstable. The list of artists, comedians, and writers is intended to remind us that we are not alone. The list of what we will accept and what we will reject is another devotion to our humanity. The enclosure of the book also has the text of a letter written by Shirley Jackson to the young readers of her book “The Witchcraft of Salem Village” (1956). Her generation lived through similar times, finding a vulnerable scapegoat for the world’s problems.


paper, metal grommets

About the artist:

Lives and works in Gainesville, Florida, United States

Crooked Letter Press is the imprint of book artist Ellen Knudson. She is currently Associate in Book Arts at The University of Florida. Ellen has been a book artist and designer for over 25 years and holds an MFA in Book Arts from University of Alabama. She has taught letterpress and book arts at Univ. of Florida, Univ. of Alabama, and graphic design at Mississippi State Univ. and Wayne State Univ., as well as workshops around the country. Her work is collected by San Francisco MOMA (CA), Yale University (CT), The Library of Congress (DC), and many other national and international collections.

About Alicia Bailey


Ellen Knudson – Talisman