WaterWords, a Katrina Pictionary

This “Katrina Pictionary” plays on the linguistic phenomenon in which a word’s importance in a culture is reflected in the number of variations of it that exist in the cultural lexicon. The possible result of whiling away the hours of, say, an evacuation by playing parlour games, these ‘pages’ of waterwords and images mimic both the traditional game of “Pictionary” and the somewhat sillier game of “Fortune Cookie”, whereby you are required to insert the words ‘in bed’ after every statement read by the players. Here, the game addresses the flood-related losses of so many with the hope of softening the sorrows with wordplay and image.

WaterWords is a collaborative work by Jan Gilbert and Debra Howell. It was first exhibited as a photolightwork at the Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans at the first anniversary of Hurricane Katrina on August 29th 2006, and remained on view for one year. As backlit panels, each original page is 9’x4.5′. It is now available as a 12″ by 36″ archival lightjet print, or other sizes by request.

“To date the most moving written piece I’ve read, which conveys the sentiment of going into your home after it has been defiled by the contaminated lake water…. the repetition of ‘in your home’ creates a haunting, hypnotic hum, taking you to an overwhelming and surrealistic place in your mind, similar to the experience of a New Orleanian moving, daze-like, through her ravished home.”
Jan Villarrubia for www.dramaticpublishing.com/Authors Corner