Ellen Knudson. How Swimming Saved My Life. No 45 of an edition of 45.
(Starkville. MS: Crooked Letter Press. 2005). Sam Fleming Southern Civilization Collection.
Vanderbilt University Special Collections
The handmade quality of artist's books makes them a natural vehicle for autobiographical introspection. Artist Ellen Knudson draws on her personal experiences to connect with her readers through ordinary events that have universal qualities, such as her swimming regimen. "When I swim," says the artist, "thoughts come and go, flowing like the water. How Swimming Saved My Life is a book about my experience of swimming as exercise and as a release from the stresses of life. My fury makes me a bad person and the one thing that saves me from being a monster is swimming. Water is one of the few places where I am graceful." Knudson illustrates her book with abstracted grids of a pool, as seen from the swimmer's viewpoint.