Observer: Lainie Love Dalby | Artist
What’s your AMMO?
The present moment is the greatest gift, the greatest teacher. It is a seed of inspiration and momentum to grow us. I delve into my 12 senses and seek solace in truth, beauty and BIG love, discovering it all around and most importantly within. I drink from the well of aliveness and freedom each day, co-creating the ultimate vision of a life I would adore. I speak it daily and allow it to wash over me. It injects creativity into my veins and lights the spark of courage beneath me. To overcome illusion and stand in the truth is to live dangerously. This is potent AMMO for me and brings untold joy. Then Rumi stirs me further with his Sufi prose. “Don’t go back to sleep.”
When fears arise (since they always do, it is our work to quiet them) I am reminded of all the fierce women in history who have defied social norms and convention to live the lives they imagined and loved; all those individuals who have stood for truth and justice and freedom of imagination for all; courageous people who feel the fear and do it anyways; anyone who attempts to CREATE their own reality, their own set of rules, and doesn’t accept the world as it’s given. For further AMMO I dance amongst the cultural creatives and shape-shifters, getting fed from the inspirations of my own tribe that help to cultivate my inner Diamond core, that juicy place within us where all of our passion, intuition, Divinity and purpose pour forth from. It’s like the Sufi practice of ‘polishing the heart’ to release your light. Polish. Repeat. Polish. Repeat. Polish. Repeat. And so it goes.
Any art movements that you are important to you? Are there are movements that you are apart of?
Ever since discovering the Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich and the European Avant Garde, I have known the artists of Dada, Futurism, Fluxus and Surrealism to be kindred spirits. Over 10 years ago, even before I began making my current immersive environments as well as social and wearable sculptures, I used to hold immersive Futurist dinner parties where all the guests were blindfolded and eating various textured foods with their hands in the dark. The focus on intuition, surprise and the penchant for radical leftism, the idea that art could become a revolutionary cultural movement and favorite artists like the clever Marcel Duchamp and Elsa Schiaparelli all continue to delight and inspire me to no end I even take a regular pilgrimage to Philadelphia to see Duchamp’s Étant Donnés, one of my top 5 favorite art works of all time.
Currently, you could say that I am part of the movement of socially conscious and revolutionary artists throughout time whose life itself becomes the work of art. I am also moving into the ranks of ‘Girls Gone Zen,’ a term coined by Gabrielle Bernstein to describe a close-knit group of up-and-coming powerful women that are spiritual and entrepreneurial leaders effecting change in the world, including Danielle LaPorte, Kris Carr, Marie Forleo and others. Like their efforts, my current work is sparking its own movement for injecting greater aliveness into your life, instigating personal and social change, and weaving you into the fabric of the global village. I believe that every being is an artist in charge of their own transformation. Because of this, your greatest masterpiece is creating a life that you would totally love and feel ALIVE in each day. I merely serve as the Catalyst for courage and creativity in the process.
Any Art trends that are noteworthy?
We are starting to get serious about something larger than ourselves. Our hunger for deeper meaning is mounting. The chaos of our world today, the imminent destruction of Mother Earth, and the insane pace of technology are causing people to think twice, to start the descent to their inner world, to begin asking questions, and engage in their lives on a deeper level just for it all to become manageable. We are being called to show up — not only for ourselves, but for each other and the planet at large. With the popularity of my current Blessing performances, the presence of such programs as AA Bronson’s Institute for Religion, Art and Social Justice, the success of Marina Abramovic’s recent piece at the MoMA, The Artist is Present, as well as the rave reviews of her documentary, it is clear that people’s interests are piqued around creating meaningful human connection in the context of the art world. The unconditional love, limitless compassion, and understanding of our oneness that we all long for are hopefully not that far away.
How do you get inspired to begin your work day or work moments? Music Elements? Spiritual Elements? Visual Elements?
Everything happening to us is happening for us. Because of this, remembering that everything is neutral and we decide what feeling tone to attribute to it is a mantra for my daily life. I Choose Happiness, I choose love, I choose unity! This requires a moment-by-moment practice of witnessing myself, taking control of my mind and my thoughts to determine the course of my life. It is not what we’re doing that matters, but the state of mind from which we are doing the doing. This is especially crucial in the process of art making.
To aid in this awareness, I begin every day with a morning practice that allows me to stay open for Spirit to act through me during the day in all that I do, so I may become a channel for greatness in the world. It is a ritual that I also use before performing. As in all rituals, I set the space first by engaging all 12 senses. I begin by creating darkness, adding in candle light, sound, citrus and sage scent and vibrating internally from the ring of our Tibetan Singing bowl. (On my playlist currently is a Kirtan gem done by the incredible literary agent Ned Leavitt and his partner Lynn). I engage my limbs in a body prayer that I have designed specifically to open all of my pores, muscles and ligaments before kneeling in front of my altar. Much like my Altar Kit sculptures, it is filled with delicious sacred objects, gifts, offerings and more. As I come to be seated, I deepen my breath and focus inward, asking, “What would you have me say? Where would you have me go? What would you have me do?” Then I simply sit and listen to the inner whisperings that come from deep within my Diamond Core. I also often work with Doreen Virtue’s Goddess and Angel Guidance cards and also with something I call my Invincible Council, which is a visual and metaphysical tool I created.
How do you define your relationship with society and your specific work within the arts?
I believe we all have a deep responsibility to the global village, so I act as a catalyst for personal creativity and courage who instigates personal and social change in the world. I assist individuals in breaking out of society’s boxes, screwing the status quo, and overcoming the need for security attained through mediocrity. I live by passion and boundary pushing, bowing down only to curiosity, creativity, connection and CHANGE. Freedom is served for breakfast, chutzpah for lunch and gratitude for dinner. I don’t play by the rules, never have and never wish to.
I communicate with society through ritualized modalities of healing, expanding oneself, and dissolving conventional molds. Each of the 12 senses, including thought, ego, I, and Spirit, are engaged in this provocative space where the outrageous becomes normative and everyday materials are often re-appropriated. In this action I become a modern day mystic serving up spiritual elixir for the un-churched masses and skillfully weaving the sacred into our everyday pop culture, creating meaningful interactions while promoting overall awareness of our shared human condition, as well as a deeper understanding of the soul.
Overall, my work is an architecture of eccentricity, a boisterous engine of creativity and PLAYful joy, a tactile adventure park, a zone of boundary pushing, a giant color burst of communication, as well as the silent gift of self-love and imagination.
There is plenty talk on the international art market, does this global perspective affect your work?
Most artists translate lived experience through their work in the search of beauty and greater meaning, but we are also entrepreneurs. Together, with every other living sentient being, we make up a global village. And at the end of the day, the artist’s practice must be transformed into a business for it to be sustainable within this village. The ‘art world,’ as distinct from the global marketplace in which we all participate, is really only an illusion after all.
Honoring this reality, I’ve joined the ranks of Capitalism 24902, which Richard Branson defines in his incredible book Screw Business as Usual, as the idea that every single business person has the responsibility for taking care of the people and the planet that make up our global village, all 24,902 circumferential miles of it. I can only hope that more ‘business people’ within the self-enclosed art world will get on board with social responsibility. It is largely missing right now.
Outside the fine arts, who are some contemporary figures that inspire you and your work? Music figures?
I have been deemed “The Lady Gaga of Consciousness” by the press due to my appearance over the last 15 years, and since I am inspired by the social change Gaga is creating with her Born This Way Foundation to promote bravery and acceptance, I welcome the parallel. We are merely reflections of one another. I am also greatly moved and inspired by the work of:
Eve Ensler for her bold, courageous, creative and OUT LOUD fight to end violence against women and girls.
Marie Forleo for her awesomely authentic, fresh and spot on, value based entrepreneurial training.
Seth Godin for his freely shared and potent perspectives on culture, marketing, consumption and the importance of the “idea virus.”
Oprah for her new life class and bringing spiritual teachers to the masses.
Andrew Harvey for his Institute for Sacred Activism and fight for fierce global change.
Osho for his deliciously radical views on spirituality, courage, freedom, creativity and more. Marina Abramovic for her balls to stay in the game over 40 years and never compromise the integrity of her performance art, for anyone, any structure or set of rules.
Ann Hamilton for her sensitivity to the 12 senses in her art work and for inspiring me to step into creating immersive environments myself with her Myein exhibit at the Venice Biennale in 1999.
Walt Disney for his contribution to the idea of creating immersive Brand-scapes that alter our consciousness, creativity and imagination, bringing joy and his own personal ‘art’ to millions.
Richard Branson, my ultimate hero. I love this man to pieces for everything he’s built with his Virgin empire, everything he stands for with Virgin Unite and the adventurous, fearless spirit with which he plays out his somewhat public life.
There is a lot of buzz about social media, has it had an impact on your life, work, art? How?
140% YES, social media has had an impact on my life;) It’s no longer enough to inhabit our small sphere of the world. We have a greater accountability, potential and responsibility to show up for the whole of humanity now, to become self-realized and share the fruits of that journey. To give freely of our art and ideas to create massive value and beauty in the world. To champion the beauty in all of life.
Social media allows us to connect to our tribes, share our voices more freely with the world, and use those 140 characters + as a renegade method to educate, stimulate, entertain, and tell our potent stories.
In my own work on Twitter @LainieLoveDalby I have been using social media to create social sculptures and will no doubt continue to do so. The first was #Hearttrends, which serves as a conversation and connection between people and their hearts’ true desires as a way to help them Envision, Connect and Manifest. The #AlivenessAlert on Twitter is one that I have just started as well, where you can share what makes you feel totally ALIVE!
On my new Facebook timeline I have also been creating viral artworks to be shared freely over the internet and am masterminding a series this summer to amp it up this fall.
What are some of your pet peeves about the art world? What are you proposed remedies?
I could buy a Rothko painting for $87 Million or I could feed and educate over a million starving children in Africa for over a year. Which would you choose?? The almost nonexistent conversation of cost vs. value (or social benefit), attached to the lack of giving back to the society it draws from, is my greatest disturbance with the art world. Right now, we are witnessing the emergence of other models of economic interaction such as that described by Charles Eisenstein in his thought-provoking new book Sacred Economics. There he describes the pitfalls of a system in which wealth and ‘worth’ are completely divorced from community and social connection. My own remedy for this is a model of giving back built into the fabric of my own business called Glitter Giving. 10% or more of every project, sale or deal I conduct is tithed directly to one of my current partner charity programs.
Another current remedy I am working on is the Art for Awareness Online Gallery to support Eve Ensler’s 1 Billion Rising where the majority of the proceeds from the art sold will go to creating a local NYC event on 2.14.13 to fight violence against women and girls. Other artists can also donate works to the gallery. Visit www.LainieLoveDalby.com to participate.
What’s next for you?
Continuing to step into the fullness of my purpose, to remain rooted in the here and now, awake and aware, sucking the marrow out of life each day…as well as masterminding my new movement for YOU. I currently have my fingers in many pots in the process: writing my first book, which is part memoir and part spiritual guide, continuing my wearable sculpture and photography series: The ARmaTures of Awareness, creating an online TV show, participating in Art in Odd Places this October with the performance Blessings to Remember You, as well as planning some elaborate surprises for Art Basel Miami this year, for which I am currently seeking sponsorship.
Where can we currently see your work?
Online. Sit in silence and open to the idea of pure love spreading all throughout your body, surrounding you, feeding you, and sustaining you. When your mind wanders, bring it back to that BIG love. Soon the idea will begin to transform into an immersive experience. You will feel it fill your heart, your organs, and your skin. Once you feel the lick of bliss, open further to the idea of your connectedness with everything around you and allow that love to spread to your neighbor, then the woman down the street, then the student in the state over, then the priest in the country over, then the starving child in the continent over, and then finally even the zebra prancing halfway on the other side of the world. Feel this potent connectedness and love as a thin red thread running through all of our hearts, linking us all together. Allow a smile to form on your lips and joy to erupt from deep within your interior. – This is my work. Realize that you are the presence of love itself in this world. Use the inspiration. Reclaim your inner life. Go make something out of nothing. TEEM Gorgeous. And change the world.
To keep abreast of the creativity, courage and ALIVEness, sign up for Lainie’s exclusive newsletter to stay in the loop on what’s coming next, here. Also, drop by and let her know what gets you feeling fully ALIVE on Twitter @LainieLoveDalby and on Facebook. Be sure to use the hashtag #AlivenessAlert when tweeting!
For more from Lainie Love Dalby go to, www.lainielovedalby.com