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Gaia Alari (Director, Animator) and James Morehead (Poet Laureate – Dublin, California) team up to bring the poem “tethered” to life with the magic of traditional animation. The poem is a selection from Morehead’s debut book “canvas” (Viewless Wings Press, 2021). “tethered” features 2D animation created from 750 drawings. The animation was created for the 9:16 story format.

     Director Biography – Gaia Alari

Gaia Alari, is a visual artist based in Milan, Italy.

She collaborates with international music bands and labels: Lake Street Dive / Nonesuch Records (Warner USA), Ada Lea / SaddleCreek +Nextdoor Records (USA, Canada), Dana Gavanski / Full Time Hobby + Flemish Eye Records + Ba Da Bing! Records (UK, Canada, USA) , TOLEDO (USA), Low Cut Connie / Contender Records (USA), Florda (Canada), Dot Comet (USA), Crom Lus (UK).
She also works with Paris based skate crew and brand Quotamine directing commercials in clay animation and designing boards and products featuring her artworks.

In 2018 her debut short film “Happy” was officially selected for screening at several festivals: MicroActs London, 4th Athens Animation Marathon, Female Filmmakers Festival Berlin, Lisbon Film Rendezvous, Mirror Mountain Film Festival.

Her second short form clay animation “Terminus” premiered at AVIFF Cannes (France) and was awarded the special “Prix AVIFF Incognito” in May, 2019. It was exhibited for Galerie Incognito at the Monnaie de Paris.

Her animated music clip “I talk to the wind” for Dana Gavanski made it to the official selection of Sound Unseen film and music festival, 21st edition (in the 25 coolest film festival of the world list by MovieMaker Magazine).

     Director Statement

The video is a traditional hand drawn animation made by 12 drawings per second – frame per frame. The marine imagery of the video is true to that put down in words by the poet, and it is conceptually fit to represent the life events succeeding one another and the unstoppable flowing of time that human beings are subjected to – which i showed in looping sequences focusing mostly on the back and forth movement of the waves, seasons and the central symbol of the buoy, always kept in the middle of the picture, withstanding the natural events surrounding it. The condition of being tethered can be a metaphor for the condition of humans – that are rarely in control, more often feeling dragged here and there by the flow. Nonetheless, the poem and the video show a gentle peacefulness, spreading a frail feeling of hope – as to remind that the storm is always followed by the calm.

Finally, I found conceptually captivating the idea of stressing the contrast between the very film-like, 8mm-like imagery, the warmth of the spoken words and the handmade quality of the animation technique and a hyper contemporary format that responds to the reality of the diffusion of artworks via social network – showing, hopefully, that a merge between the instances can be interesting to look at.


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