I wasn’t aspiring to be Hemingway in six words

Much as I enjoyed Quentin Newark’s critique of the 26 posters project (DW 6 September), he is missing the point.

We weren’t ‘encouraged to take a site as [our] starting point’, the brief was categorical – to create a poster that made a pithy, six-word comment or observation about the location in which it appeared.

We were being asked to take a mass medium and make it unusually local and specific. So inevitably, when these posters are removed from their context, they become obscure and lose their meaning. It’s like lyrics without music, or reading a chapter in the middle of a book.

Comparing our efforts to previous six-word ‘stories’ by literary greats is disingenuous. They had no given restrictions and their words weren’t intended to appear on posters. The poster I created with Johnathan Barnbrook was intended simply to get people to ask questions about guns and gun-making. I managed to get four out of Quentin – not a bad strike rate.

Oh, and I wouldn’t compare myself to Ernest Hemingway any more than Quentin would liken himself to Pablo Picasso.

Jim Davies, by e-mail

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