Polly Nor is a London-based illustrator whose work has been celebrated for its candid exploration of femininity and literal depiction of mental angst. For a piece of music by alternative artist Chelou named Halfway to Nowhere, Nor was asked to team up with animator Andy Baker to create a visual story.
We previously looked at Nor’s illustrations that reflect her signature frank attitude about female sexuality and eroticism. Now graduating to motion picture, Nor treats similar subjects in Halfway to Nowhere which features themes of self-doubt, skewed body image and self-destructive thoughts. The animation shows the progression of a woman who awakes in her bedroom and peers at herself in the mirror only to be depressed by the figure staring back at her.
Taking a surreal twist, the protagonist transforms into a devil (representing the antagonist inside her own mind) and runs away into an imagined jungle. As the red devil escapes further into the imaginary forest, it becomes clear that the female character feels out of place even in her own mind, but she carries on in the pursuit for inner peace which is achieved towards the end as she approaches the enigmatic source of the music.
Halfway to Nowhere concludes with the protagonist returning to her own skin in self-acceptance. The arms of the devil-version of herself become a source of comfort rather than despair and she is finally restored to the real world.