AMSTERDAM — October 22, 2020 — WePresent, the editorial platform of WeTransfer, today announced a collaboration with contemporary surrealist artist, Polly Nor. The film, produced by WePresent, spotlights the artist’s first short story animated film, titled “How Have You Been?,” about loss, grieving, and finding comfort amid the company and friendship of a slug-turned-demon creature.
“How Have You Been?” takes a sensitive approach to examine the many aspects of our current world, and the loneliness felt from tremendous loss and grief. Through animated illustrations, Polly turns her personal experiences of loss into a story that’s universally relatable.
The five-minute film was made in partnership with animator, Andy Baker, and features recognizable aspects of Polly’s work — a messy bedroom, a conflicted woman, and her demon character that garnered fame and a mass following on social media. The film will launch on Polly Nor’s YouTube channel, with a deep dive into her and Andy’s creative process launching on WePresent.
“Our mission with WePresent is to support creatives and share their unique points of view on the times we live in,” WePresent’s commissioning editor, Suzanne Tromp, said. “Polly Nor and Andy Baker’s "How Have You Been?" truly reflects this period we find ourselves in. The beauty of the film is that it’s able to speak to how many people are feeling at this moment, while also staying deeply personal to Polly and true to her style.”
“I started imagining this story at the beginning of lockdown, when the reality of the pandemic was really starting to sink in,” Polly said. “I kept thinking about how many people's worlds were being turned upside down, from those losing friends and loved ones to relationships being pulled apart by travel restrictions and social distancing measures. That period of change led us to this story about love and loss in isolation. Like with most of my artwork, and in Andy and mine's previous collaborations, we wanted to keep the meaning open to interpretation – to some people it might feel like a story about a break-up and to others a story about grief. We want the viewer to take from it whatever resonates with them most.”
Andy Baker and Polly Nor have previously collaborated on music videos, but this will be the first time they’re bringing one of Nor’s stories to life together. The film was created completely remotely during the global lockdown.
“Polly’s work has many layers and explores various themes whilst also allowing the viewer space to interpret it in their own way,” Andy said. “It is such a strange time to be making films and having a story like this enabled us to explore themes that have affected us all in the past and are even more relevant now. The best thing about this world of Polly’s is that it always feels like there’s so much more you want to explore, even once you’ve finished making a film!”
Polly Nor is best known for her dark and satirical drawings of women and their demons. Her work features a range of hand drawn and digital illustration, sculpture and installation work. Interweaving themes of identity, sexuality and emotional turmoil throughout her work, Nor is inspired by her own experience of life and the struggle for self-acceptance in the internet-age.
Since graduating in 2011 she put on three solo exhibitions in London, "Sorry Grandma" (2016) at 71a Gallery and "It's Called Art Mum, Look It Up" (2017) and "Airing My Dirty Laundry In Public" (2018) at Protein studios, as well as exhibiting in various group shows in the UK, Berlin and the US including "NSFW: The Female Gaze" at The Museum Of Sex, New York. She has gained over a million instagram followers. Polly has been commissioned by a variety of clients including Bloomsbury Publishing, Dazed Digital, Dr Martens, Complex Magazine and Gucci. She has also been featured by i-D, Dazed, Wonderland, Stylist, BBC Three, Refinery29, Dazed, Time Out, Nylon, Cool Hunting, It's Nice That, Creative Review as well as a cover feature with Polyester and Juxtapoz magazine.