SV PRESENTS: Thistles & Thorns

On May 15, 2017, StandardVision premiered the first form of Thistles and Thorns, a new multi-modal project by ANIMI. The piece on display represents an original narrative in the SV Presents series; an art initiative showcasing the work of creative visual artists working within the community.

Directed by Kalie Acheson and written by Yazmin Monet-Watkins, Thistles and Thorns is a storytelling experience that follows the symbolic trials and tribulations of the young warrior Assata. In order to find her way, she must venture through foreign landscapes, meeting a series of characters, both malicious and benevolent. A detailed and fantastical practical set immerses the viewer in a magical world filled with creatures brought to life by extravagant make-up and costumes.

Kalie Acheson on Thistles and Thorns for SV

“Developing a piece for the SV Presents series was an exciting and unique challenge. The fragmented and spacious layout of the screen allowed us to express the story in a triptych, with layered and energetic imagery. This multifaceted and fresh expression was driven by our desire to collaborate with a family of creators, a feat made possible by the community spirit of StandardVision. Thistles and Thorns, at its core is about community, legacy, and sharing your stories with future generations. It was incredible to have the support from StandardVision to be able to pass on a piece of public art to the community”

Kalie Acheson is an award winning creative producer, director, artist, and production designer who founded the multi-format design studio focusing on imaginative, engaging, and socially conscious design, media, and events. She has worked with a variety of clients, from individual artists like Miguel and Alexa Meade to multimedia conglomerates like Disney, HBO, and FX. See more of her work on Instagram.

Yazmin Monet-Watkins on inspiration,

“It is important that my work impacts and uplifts my community, seeing what we all worked so hard on come to life in such a grand way was an experience beyond words. The whole night of the screening I couldn’t stop cheesing, shouting, rejoicing with excitement. It was so cool to see our story four stories tall –  I think of what it will mean for the community to have representation in such a public way.”

Yazmin Monet Watkins is an internationally acclaimed multimedia artist, poet, scholar, actress and writer from Los Angeles. She has performed at Obama’s White House, opened for Angela Davis, the Dalai Lama, Amiri Baraka, Sonia Sanchez, and more with her work published in the Huffington Post, AfroPunk, Rebel Muse Magazine, For Harriet, and the Race and Pedagogy Journal. Learn more about Yazmin on her website and Instagram.


ANIMI is an award winning multi-format design studio focused on imaginative, engaging, and socially conscious design, media, and events. We provide concept to completion workflow for film and video, art installations, print campaigns, live performance productions and more. This integration of varying mediums allows ANIMI to be incredibly efficient in design and execution.

Follow the rest of T&T’s journey on social media, @kalie.acheson, @yazminmonetwatkins