The Meaning of WOWIP

So what does WOWIP stand for?

No it is not a crazy new computer programming language or domain name, or text speak to explain the situation when you want to tell the world and maybe be the person themselves that you find them attractive (yeah we know it’s some else’s photo!) in a chatroom ( i.e. Wow I Pick), though it could easily substitute for many of the alternatives. WOWIP actually stands for the World Of Words In Pictures.

Ed Ruscha: “Vanishing Cream”

 This will not mean that every picture featured will be an Ed Ruscha, though most of his work underscores the point of WOWIP in an obvious and superficial way, as it combines words  and visual images synergistically. No in the main the words and pictures I bring together will seek to stir and rouse the viewer by enhancing or reinforcing the meaning of the subject matter and stimulate by offering heightened awareness.

The three variants that will be featured in WOWIP are:

Type “A+”

Any picture that engages, informs, fascinates or amazes using letters or words. This will be complemented by a paragraph or two offering my interpretation and which hopefully intensifies the experience of viewing rather than distract from it. Called Type “A ” because they are relatively rare to find.

Type “O”

Great writing whose depth, poignancy or interest is extended by a picture.  Termed Type “O”  because they’re relatively easy to find if one exercises some discerned over ones reading list. So many great writers and photographers out there.

Type “AB” 

These will show Images and words that when combined and without further adultration, adaptation, artificial stimulation or interruption stimulate thought and encourage further investigation by intriguing, informing and fascinating and by most importantly delivering clear – though multifaceted – meaning. These are labelled “AB” because like the blood group they join two (or more) elements – writing (letters) and image – together and blend in a sublime and seamless manner. Uniting Context, subject, object and narrative in a perfect harmony – The Churchill, St George’s post expresses this four part unity so well.

Reading between the lines A+B… is really  “the usual” as it will be created or co-created and blended, rather than discovered.  We just hope it produces a meaningful one.


A Longer Description

The predicate that informs and inspires WOWIP is that language, or rather words, are the primary building blocks of all creativity. A central tenet of the idea being that an artist observing a stimuli, whether it be something in nature or an existing work of art or idea, may hold the seed or “vision” as an image but will ultimately rely on words – expressed as thoughts, writings, or spoke word in order to interpret and translate the core thought or “feeling”.  The origination or creation simply then requires the transmutation of the essence of the cognition or emotion into physical action and visible bi-product (i.e. the masterpiece).

In the moment of creativity a whole series of thoughts and ideas stored deep within the sub conscious form out of the seemingly nebulous thoughts of the unconscious mind. This gives the conscious mind the impression of instantaneous creativity and inspiration, when in fact the effect is grounded in the artists experience, practical applications and exposure to theories and ideas. Before the moment of creativity I maintain the artist has cognisance of a creative thought or seed idea, and it’s germination can come at any moment: within moments of inspiration or take years.

Even the photographer and abstract artist seeking a random or inspirational moment give context to their creativity by being present at a certain moment, adopting a certain mind state, or seeking out a location where they can connect with their subjects. They have thought, reasoned, positioned and prepared prior to delivering their moment of creativity and words have been the conduit which have channeled their visual expressions and creation.

Training, experience and imagination are all key components of the process which delivers each work of art. And when confluence of all elements occurs we are much more likely to see a genuine work of imagination and significance. Creation is seldom achieved without inspiration or stimulus, and these sources are what really what facilitate the thought process which allows the artist to capture the essence of the meaning that they wish to convey.

A picture can say a thousand words, however I equally believe a few well-selected words can often convey the message a thousand pictures cannot. These are often words associated with great events or very intimate ones. The crushing pain and tragedy of a famine, for instance, when over analysed (and more importantly over photographed) often loses its power because the rationalisation – and then the familiarity – overwhelms the singularity of the situation (i.e. the individual and collective suffering)  however a few timely words can often quickly bring a situation into sharp contrast and then be remembered: Forever. Below is an example of a Type “O”

Food for thought because of the lack of it

“After finishing the last of the rotted beans Kofi started to sift through the dusty red earth in the hope that he would find some fly larvae or a beetle. The beatles were often bitter to taste, but the bitterness was a taste and in the barrenness anything that signified another step away from the crushing pain of hunger was devoured without thought.”   

Then there are moments when a good picture can transport a fertile imagination or focused consciousness to the doorstep of an event. The image can carry the individual across threshold, but no further. In this instance I will invariably seek out great writing that involves, inspires and ultimately reveals another level to complement it.

However if I do find a great or iconic image I will treat it with the respect it deserves, with very few words. A great picture can stop people in their tracks, demand attention and inspire thoughtful reflection, however I predicate for it to inspire action, change behaviour and thereby facilitate physical choices words must be formed individually to understand and express the feeling or emotion being elicited. Beyond this for opinion to be galvanised, thoughts to become deeds, and people mobilised words must be formed that communicate the image accurately and sufficiently that it can fulfil its mission to inform, challenge or haunt.

I will always make my best effort to credit all images correctly, where they are not I would welcome the appropriate information to support the material and inform, and of course remove any material that breaches copyright.

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