Lightning in a Bottle is a work of art in itself, dreamt up by the brushstrokes of inspired souls and endlessly evolving through the contributions of others who have recognized its empowering potential. It has transformed into a masterpiece and a portal of infinite inspiration for souls on all walks of life. Within it, lies a myriad of creation, providing seeds for progressive actions and sprouting necessary perspective shifts.
Some tend to forget the importance of the art community and the hope it brings that has the ability to stem so much greatness from within us. In this day and age, society makes it somewhat difficult for creative minds to thrive. Festivals like Lightning in a Bottle give artistic individuals a space to create while receiving encouragement, respect and appreciation from others. This in turn has given festival attendees the inspiration and encouragement that pushes them to find a creative outlet of their own. Here we will take a closer look at some of the artistry at Lightning in a Bottle – aside from the bomb music. It would be impossible to mention all of the forms of enchanting creation that made LIB 2016 what it was, so I will share the variety of magic that I witnessed on my path.
Archival Ink by Fine Art Direct hosted this year’s art exhibition with galleries for pop surrealism and visionary art. The exhibition featured artists including Alex Grey, Michael Divine, Sequoia Emmanuelle, Mugwort, Mars 1, Sam Farrand, John Park, Mear One and Jesse Noemind. I walked through the gallery on multiple occasions throughout the weekend, admiring the pieces and watching others gaze over them in awe. As if the artwork wasn’t enough, the gallery came alive with music presented by Street Ritual featuring sounds by Clozee, Henry Pope, Duffrey, Wu Wei, Dela Moontribe and many more.
The Street Feather Project is a street art project that has been a part multiple festivals including Symbiosis, Woogie Weekend, Serenity Gathering as well as various locations and events in the Los Angeles area and the nation. Elliot Soul, originator of The Street Feather Project, took some time to share his story. “My reason for starting it was that I wanted to help our world that’s so full of negativity. Horrible things are happening constantly in the media with politics, social issues, racism, and society is crying out quite literally right now it seems. It makes my heart tight with pain and fear and I know others feel it too.”
Elliot creates posts signs with original, uplifting quotes that he leaves for others to take back home. He says that he is taking the negative and making a positive. “If you read one of my messages I hope it sparks a thought in your mind and helps you be a part of the change that this world needs. I had a lot of people coming up to chat, say hello, share a story about when they first saw one or what their favorite message was, and how it made them feel. It was really awesome, I can’t describe the feeling it gave me. I did come to spread the love and I got it all back.”
Over the course of the weekend, I witnessed individuals and pieces of art as works in progress, transforming and emerging into life and inspiration. At the Thunder stage on Friday, I observed as Carolina Galleran “Caro Caro” brought her intricate line work to life. I had the pleasure of speaking with her and hearing her thoughts on live painting following the festival. “It’s amazing how inspiring being in that atmosphere is. The music, people and energy drive me to try things I normally wouldn’t in the studio. While it’s not the best place to make a super cohesive body of work, it’s a place to play, experiment and get silly while doing it. I’m super thankful to have stumbled into this world, it’s a necessary recharge and outlet for me and I think it helps me stay balanced and make better work overall.” Other live painters included Amanda Sage, Molly Devlin, John Park, Chris Saunders, and many more.
The glitter goddesses and fur fairies were sprinkled everywhere along with the dust and I loved every second of that glitzy, cosmic space-heaven. The costumes ranged from the commercial festival trends we all know and love (hate), to clashin’ fashion paradise. There were kittens and bears and creatures of all sorts in every nook and cranny. LED lights adorned almost everyone and everything, adding to the dreamlike feel of those late nights. The best kind of fashion though, is the OG DIY one of a kind festival pieces. My good friend and muse Paris Sinclair is a designer who enjoys making others happy with her unique creations. We spoke during the festival about how much the festival fashion community has grown, and how amazing it is that we have this outlet to make each other happy through fashion as well as collaborate. “There’s no other joy in this world for me than being able to create unique pieces of wearable art for people who just want to have fun and be stylish at festivals. It’s beautiful to see humans reflect their souls onto their festival wear!”
We are all facets of inspiration whether we know it or not, and our community seems to form an endless circle of opportunity for happiness if we take action. How dope is that? The beauty of art is that it creates an experience for those that cross it’s path, much like the way a certain person can make you feel comfortable or passionate. The most raw form of live art, at festivals and beyond, is the vibration you emit as a living breathing human masterpiece. How does experiencing the art of your presence make people feel?
Furthermore, what are we going to do with all of this inspiration? Solidify it. Be pro-active in a world where there is too much talking and not enough doing-especially doing the things that really matter. What is of the utmost importance, is the hope that these gatherings give us as a community and as individuals lucky enough to experience them. Hope for a better world inspired through mindful interactions turns into fuel for others to go back into their lives and create or inspire something progressive, sustainable, and helpful to their local community and economy. These are chain reactions we spark at gatherings that truly make them transformational.
It makes me wonder what spontaneous creation sparked the inspiration for Lightning in a Bottle.
All photos by Madison Kneupper unless stated otherwise