The idea takes the notion of a picture being the summation of 1,000 words to its logical, tongue-in-cheek extreme. Each part of the campaign is made up of exactly 1,000 words inspired by an image in Thompson’s online portfolio.
Photograph Paul Thompson’s promotional postcards
The aim is that each text will be sufficiently intriguing enough to draw the reader to Thompson’s site where the photographs themselves appear. As well as posters, the four texts make up a set of postcards and t-shirts.
“I wanted to make a genuine attempt to convey an image in words, so that you’d have a good chance of picturing it when you’re done – and so you would feel drawn to Paul’s website to see how close you were,” says Asbury. “At the same time, I wanted to highlight the comical impossibility of conveying a picture through language, because we all respond to them so differently. A picture is never just about how it looks, but what it makes you think and feel.”
Jim Davies picked an image of a park bench to write about:
“[Paul’s] work has a sense of the surreal, as if something’s not quite as it should be,” writes Davies on his Total Content blog. “I eventually plumped for an image of a slightly forlorn-looking park bench. There were no people around, and it looked like a perfectly grey, hum-drum day … It struck me that this park bench must have witnessed all kinds of things, if only it could articulate them.
“So I gave it a slightly curmudgeonly voice and set about telling a kind of first-person day in the life, which gradually spirals out of control. The Chase then set the words beautifully to the shape of the picture. The results not only look rather fine, but gently subvert the idea of a photographer’s mailer.”
The pieces as framed posters
All four written pieces and their accompanying photographs are available to view on paulthompsonstudio.com/thousand-words.