Svend Aage Berg by Elsi Vassdal Ellis

This book explores known and unknown existential experiences that have the potential to leave invisible fingerprints upon individuals. Those examined here include adoption, arrest, survival, fatherhood, death of a spouse. Existential experiences can also influence how genes work. This is epigenetics. My first cousin once removed Svend Aage Berg was a Norwegian who lived in a place and during a time that marked him and generations that followed. His life was marked by traumas such as stress, anxiety, fear, extreme physical exertion, and deprivation. His trauma went unseen, a transformative secret. He never spoke of them, keeping family, friends, and co-workers from the details of the darkness he experienced. They would only know the facts: he survived four years in German concentration camps, arrested as a member of a small underground resistance group. He revealed only two dark moments to family. His existential experiences are presented through the only family photos my mother has.

Artist Bio

Elsi Vassdal Ellis taught design production and book arts at Western Washington University for 40 years, retiring in June 2017. As EVE Press she has produced over 160 editions via offset, letterpress and digital printing, and 127 unique books since 1983. Her work is permanently housed in many public collections including the National Museum of Women in the Arts, New York City Public Library, Ruth and Marvin Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry, Grabhorn Collection in the San Francisco Public Library, and Arts of the Book Collection in the Yale University Library.