A World Without Categories...Art Is Why I Get Up in the Morning...You?

An S.O.S.: Calling Upon All Angels

Joy Matters*

*Passion & Compassion*

Seek out, seek in...always seeking, always on a journey to bridge the world within with the world around.

Knowing that so many are hurting and alone when there is no need.

If we could just pause long enough to turn the tide.

We are a force of nature because we are nature.

Even when the oil runs dry, the sun will still fuel us. All the panic takes us further away from our natural state, our connection to the creative force, and to the brilliant power of simply being alive. 

Enjoy the ocean if you can and work toward it.

I aim to use my time to add to the creative rather than destructive forces vying for the Earth's resources.

I have found over a million Earth angels on the same mission: to create sustainable beauty out of life.

Let this be a prelude and not the exception.

I honor the lights of this great city as a power point for change, as the center of art, and as a vine of near-ripe revolutionaries.

Artists, women, good people of the Earth rising: rise some more. 

*Revolution begins with personal evolution...

Bless & Be Blessed*

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

...discover that when you put the psyche in motion, it heals itself

5Rhythms are wherever Gabrielle stands. Its center is in New York City, and its limbs continue to spread their reach.

Wherever the 5Rhythms are practiced a community is born to dance, to sweat, to change, to support. 5Rhythms communities are flourishing from Croatia to Korea, from Maui to Manhattan, from Toronto to Tel Aviv.

Much of my personal healing has come through dance, shrugging off the layers of frozen pain and flowing with the rivers of wild abandonment. I would go as far as to say that health is wealth, and without a body you feel comfortable in, the soul is never at ease, and the mind is never at rest. Heal through movement. If I can start anyone can start. Unable to use my body fluidly for so many years, I have a long way to go, but by the end of this year, I will be a physically strong, flexible, leaping person. Join me Tuesday nights at: www.alexgrey.com

And we will sweat sweet rivers of toxic waste into the pure essence of what it is in us that always keeps us moving forward, despite our stubborn natures.

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Challenge: How do we gain the world without losing our souls?

Most of us are humble and brilliant. When I take the time to speak with anybody openly, I find treasures of greatness all around.

Not all of us are monumental sexist-racist-dictators-of-evil like Mr. Bush...

I hate our system in which the most destructive among us rise to the top. Bring back the round table.

The United States of America: The Great Melting Pot: The land where anything is possible...

It needs to be possible for us to have a government in this country that looks similar to the mix we see when surveying a table at the United Nations.

One black candidate, one woman — it is a start, but only a start.

I want to live in an America where women and men - Asian, Latin, Eastern European, Jewish, Arab, African, Indian, Native American, Peruvians - of a wide range in age and experience come together and offer forth the true story of a country so large and so complex. I want to see cabinets and Congress reflect the true diversity of this country.

How can we live up to our potential as a nation when we are living by the laws and ideals of so many boring old white men?

It is not just enough to bring in some different shades and a few women in power suits — the winners of the 'race' are always the individuals who most closely mirror and shadow the ideals of the dominate force.

I am so tired of the bi-partisan monotone.
Let's hear the voice of America — let me hear you sing.
It's time to make the tune catchy enough that it spreads like wildfire and it is time for the possibility to be set into motion...the kinetic energy would be enough to blast us with bombs of reason and sensibility.

We have everything we need. Let's build the infrastructure, let's stop being submissive to the corporate machine. Come on, take the whip in hand and beat some hide raw.

I say it is time to throw the corporate big-boys into the corner for a nice long time-out.

Let us take the chance and make the chance to build businesses that service the community and that are formed with the mission that a better world is possible and that each and everything that we do adds or detracts from that mission.

It is time to take back personal responsibly and live up to our personal potential — this is the only way to make way.

I refuse to continue to be pulled under by the tides of a capitalist society that is only benefiting the top 1%...The top 5% are living large. There is still a trace of a middle class, but if you travel across America you will hear more stories of hardship and struggle than of flourish and triumph.

The majority is not only lacking financial success, but is also facing spiritual emptiness, families are by and large shipwrecked; health is failing as we almost all have some ailment.

Creditors are prowling. The average American is in debt double their annual income. We, as a nation, went from having the largest surplus in the world to the largest national deficit in the world in less than a decade. The average family income in this nation has actually dropped over $1000 annually in the last six years while the cost of living has risen astronomically and government-funded programs have been cut more extensively than ever before.

We are exhausted and running as fast as we can and still most of us fall farther behind as our position in the world sinks lower and lower with each passing day. Suicidal thoughts abound, and 60,000 people follow through on that impulse per year (That is double the homicide rate — we are murdering ourselves in droves. Something is terribly wrong — a bi-polar hopeless nation will play off prejudices until we implode.)

Racism flourishes (until we are able as a people to critique our potential leaders based on the content of their character rather than their outward appearance, we have more work to do to free our socially constructed limitations of each other.) Fear is thriving like never before - we use color codes for everything. We shake our heads in the most patronizing ways - at the gangs in LA...the Bloods and the Crypts. We call them 'niggers'. We blame it on that animal instinct, that urban jungle; we put it on the news every night only to condition us to see why killing those 'sand-niggers' in a desert hell is justifiable. News anchors speak about the red and the blue states, and the Red Alert, as if there is any difference? Some political refined 'experts' sit in a glowing box and masturbate with propaganda on "60 Minutes." I think to myself, "How terribly wrong this has all gone." I still hear the cheers for America and so many young beautiful Americans are in Iraq dying in vain, dying from the greed of a few and a lack of mobilization by the masses.

We have the power to overturn our government. It is built into the foundation of this great nation. And yet, they have us on this frantic chase to the top — some heaven where everyone is rich and pretty with big fake boobs and abs of steel where all they do is fuck all day long to the next radio hit and play it cool.

More people are involved in lawsuits than are involved in community life...

This is not the America I know is possible. We are living in our own shadow. Light the flames and turn on the heat. Let's fuel the fire in our bellies and learn to demand more of ourselves, more of the world around us.

I think a Native American should really be holding office. I think we need to remember how much blood of the sacred and the holy was spilled upon this land before Europeans planted their crops. We need to remember beyond the hypocrisy of 'Thanks Giving': All the buffalo that died, the children, the chiefs, the medicine men, the wise women, the healers, the virgins, the old ladies with little wrinkled hands - they all lost their lives so that we could be here now. Where is our respect, our conscience, our ability to look back and then forward?

Thank thank thank you to those who are trying, and to those of us joining hands, hearts, and forces.

With gratitude, I remind myself that sharing the little things each and every day it makes us who we are.

We may not have the time or the energy to act as superheroes but there is a possibility everyday to become a little more aware. There is someone within reach of you now who has something to share, and something you need to give or receive is just around the corner.

I will not support this insanity. I will, however, work.
Never in vain.
Every little step.
It is a collection of moments bringing us farther.
It is the way you take breath in — how deep you let it go...*

"Our breath is recycled from someone else's lungs, our enemies are the very air in disguise...you know I fight fire with words, words are hotter than flames, words are wetter than water." -Ani Difranco

Sweet dreams,
Even sweeter waking life.


Heath Ledger's death today is the perfect example of the empty promise. Let us throw the pills down the drain and wash clean...

I am in training. I held the mic and spoke during the closing remarks at the Freedom on Our Terms Convention, which honored and continues the work that began in Houston thirty years ago. On this day, and each day since, I have been so inspired that I let the words leak from my mouth. They are not my words and I lay no claim to them. They are universal ideas and dreams pouring through my lips. I promise to continue to sharpen and to share until my last breath...in love and with honor.

Peace is not only possible, it is necessary for the preservation of an Earth that can sustain life and the treasure chest therein.


This is the golden crisis. This is the time when we as a nation, as individuals, as members of a global community, within our personal tribes, must rise to the occasion by facing the blood that stains our hands with each day that passes in which we do nothing. I call on myself to act. Dissent is patriotic.

Vietnam War through The Things They Carried

I have two best friends in Iraq today - one is a civilian and one is a militia man. I DO NOT BELIEVE THAT WAR IS ANYTHING BUT THE DUMBEST LACK OF SOLUTION. TODAY THE REAL TEST OF POWER IS NOT WHO CAN MAKE WAR BUT WHO CAN PREVENT IT. I PRAY FOR ALL THE SOULS TRAPPED IN WAR...may we find our way before we all hold hands and jump over the edge of no return.

Good people of the Earth: we face the gravest responsibility. I accept the challenge, although I would rather be playing in the ocean. We must live better, do better, think, feel, and act more often. The surrender only seems to lull us for so long, but then reality hits and no one knows what to do....


Start something new. There is a new storyline waiting to be told. There is truth in all of us...we have the power and the ability to mold the world.

Shape up.

To the beauty of sculptures. I cultivate beauty. I fight only because I have to. I work toward the possibility that one day I will have freedom at hand and I can sink into a deep relaxation. But for now, we are still in Vietnam. The tragedy is now. History only repeats itself until we bring forth something not yet lived, making the unimaginable the status quo.

I pray and I work for an ability to live beyond race, sex, battlefields and guts, and rich-folk-bullshit lies. There are people dying everyday...so many, and for who and for what exactly? And you, reading this: Who are you? And what do you think we can do to make this world better? Tell me. Still, I'd rather you show me...

I will show you what I can share, too.

love and liberation.


Martin Luther King: There comes a time when silence is betrayal* pressed by the demands of inner truth...

Would you die for your country? Like this solider of peace, this warrior of universal truths.
Shot down by the trigger of fear.
I am not afraid to give my life for my country.
I live and will die hopefully for the promised land, and if not, I will die along the way with a loud speaker and a camera in my hand...on the path, exposing the truths of my life, holding big neon signs that say, "Over here, flow with me, the path of least resistance is what makes the river crooked."

Join me on the path...I join my ancestors in a radical revolution against sexism, racism, and militarism.

I give all my love and respect to Dr. Martin Luther King, to his soul and to the possibility within us all. We will not be ideal political play things. Stand-up. Wake-up. United we stand, divided we fall. The truth has always been in the seed of this nation. It is time we grow into our declaration.

Do not remain silent. Do not remain violent. Do not get sucked so far into the rat race that your soul can no longer pause to cry.

Good people of the Earth rise some more.

Revolution begins with personal evolution.

A moral revolution: No more money to the military. We have a nation to heal, a world to relieve, to recapture the spirit of possibility and our loyalty needs to lay with unseen truths. Just because it has not happened thus far does not mean it won't. We have been waiting, growing thicker skin. I am in training. I love this country's ideals with the same passionate desire to see mass transformation, as was generated by Dr. King.

I bow down in honor and in awe...and I feel you. I cry every time I hear his words and I have listened to them more than a hundred times. I will never stop listening.

We must open our hearts, ears, minds, and actions. I call on every woman and man to take a stand on the the war upon us in this country...poor with paradigmatic, being pinned against each other. You will not be my enemy. I will be there. Where are all the women's voices? There is more to be heard. God willing, I will share these sentiments until I am old and gray.

Spiritual awakening, free at last, free at last, thank God and Goddess Almighty we are free at last.

*racism is a weapon of mass destruction.

To my beautiful sisters: The writing on the wall between us brings us closer*

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Who is Climbing PoeTree?

These are the most amazing and talented channels of the great goddess. It is an honor and privilege to work with them, to know them. I will be joining them on their 56-city tour this coming fall to complete a full-length book capturing the visual glory of these environmental protectors, these angels of change.

so many blessings, so blessed*

She is little but she is on fire*

Haviland Stillwell

Layla Love Shot Me
By Haviland Stillwell
With the help of Tori Amos


I'm sitting on a frozen bench in a frozen city, waiting for Layla Love to answer her door. I'm early, as usual, poised like a doll. I heard about Layla from the producer of my upcoming concert, THE REAL SECRET. We need publicity shots – and my producer's let me know that Layla's our girl.

My producer arrives, late as usual, and we enter Layla’s then-apartment in Soho. The place is small and red and oh-so-starving-artist – artwork and clothing strewn about, beautiful furniture that was either found on the street, or in some amazing Victorian antique store.

I don’t really notice Layla at first – which is indicative of how self-absorbed I am, at the moment. Things have been going on – you know – things that happen when you’re 22, on Broadway, playing parts on and off stage, and keeping LOTS of secrets – most of them TOO real (read: too painful) to deal with in any other way than through the body’s demise, which, unbeknownst to me, is coming.

I've got no idea of what's to come that day or, for that matter, that year, as I look in the mirror and draw my Betty Boop lips…

Layla’s light, airy, childlike voice gently directs me – I tell her I want the shot we use to be sexy, provocative, mysterious…exactly the way I've been trying to seem in my everyday life. I want to become the image I've been fighting to emulate, and Layla gets that.

I know she gets it as my producer begins to light 300 tea lights on the wood floor, surrounding my then-curvy, mostly naked self. I know I should feel hot and frightened - open flames no more than two inches away from my body - but I feel absolutely frozen still – in life, in that moment, in everything…I stay still. I stop breathing.

This is a fire hazard.

Layla turns on Tori Amos and I make a joke about how totally lesbionic this situation is Рlike, could we GET more clich̩? And Layla, smiling in her nonchalant way, snaps more.

Sometimes I think you want me to touch you
How can I when you build a great wall around you?

“Look at me,” Layla says, and, frozen still, not moving an inch for real fear that I’ll get burned, I shift my eyes towards her, and for the first time, I SEE Layla Love. The alarming blue eyes, the Amazonian stature, the jet black hair…She gets closer…she snaps…she gets closer still…

She's two inches from my face, and this is scarier than the fire…what if she sees the truth? What if she knows? My eyes water, tiny tears escape down my cheeks. I'm in agony and my body is in despair, and I am terrified she'll know it.

Anyway, we get the shots. They are hot, perfect, mysterious, provocative. We deem Layla Love a rockstar.

JUNE 2006

I 've been in and out of my Broadway show, family drama, an on-again-off-again quasi-relationship, and ... my body is now screaming. Layla, back from a world tour, gets in touch via myspace, and we set up a time to shoot.

We meet at the seaport – we're both on time, this time. I notice a change in her. We are obviously both going through it. New York has thawed; I have not.

I'm far bonier now - pale, drawn, and Layla, handing me black eyeliner, says, “Here, you need this…”

And I do. She gets me – bony and sad and all that – in the heat of an NYC summer. We get many shots, all of which people will later respond to with coos and smiles of approval. Who would have thought a commentary on anger and depression would garner such sexual energy…

Why do we crucify ourselves, every day?

Layla and I get better – we both mend some of the pain, some of the secrets, we both grow over time.

I introduce her to my friends. She shoots. She scores.

She starts showing up places with me, and I introduce her to people as, “my photographer.” It’s simply FABULOUS to have her as a part of my entourage, because I love this girl – I love her work, I love her energy, I love what she is able to GET when we work together.

We’re all over myspace, all love to Miss Love, and I ask her to join the party on Rosie O’Donnell’s Gay Family Cruise. She accepts…

She’s been everybody else’s girl – maybe one day she’ll be her own.

JULY 2007

We are standing in the ocean. The entourage is gathered there, having docked at a private island in the Bahamas. The sun is setting and we are, all at once, deliciously filthy and perfectly clean.

My “He-Man” lookalike, Craig Ramsay, lifts me into the air, and Layla shoots. I giggle, referencing “Dirty Dancing.” I let him lift me – I trust him. I trust Layla. I slip from his hands - I drop. The blue water and Layla’s camera catch me.

We all laugh out loud, floating in the water…free…

Come and take me away –
I want to play in your floating city
Yeah, floating city... yeah…

I have an ever growing respect for these women. I meet Haviland by chance when she showed up at my Soho appartment for the first shoot of many. She brought Riese and many other great women into the mix- the ever growing mix. It is wonderful to build dreams with other driven souls- learning that even when they are little they can be firce...

Training Others to Triumph

Women's eNews 21 Leaders for the 21st Century 2008

By Alexus Jones - WeNews correspondent

(WOMENSENEWS)--Pushing, pushing, pushing, resting and pushing again, for the improvement of women's lives is the heart of the work of 20 women and one man selected as Women's eNews 21 Leaders for the 21 st Century for 2008.

One is a sports executive who wrested $11.5 million from one of the powerful pro basketball franchises, the New York Knicks, for tolerating the sexual harassment of her and her co-workers; another trains indigenous women to become paid reporters for her news services in Mexico and Nepal. Yet another energizes historically black women's colleges in the United States and organized women to topple a brutal African dictator. These leaders and the 17 others Women's eNews names today share a vision of a better world for women.

The Women's eNews 21 Leaders for the 21 st Century reflect the Women's eNews global readership: One lives in Liberia, another in Vietnam; others work and seek change in U.S. cities from Chicago to Biloxi, Miss., and many points in between.

Choosing the 21 Leaders for the 21 st Century was especially difficult this year because of the overwhelming response by readers, contributors and Women's eNews freelance writers. The Women's eNews staff and board members carefully considered each nomination and were inspired by all of the nominees' personal commitments, strategies and victories. Sometimes during the process the selection committee was so torn by the need to limit the honorees to only 21 that the only resolution was to open a new file and begin the nomination process for 2009.

"I continue to be surprised, amazed, heartened and humbled by those nominated to be a Women's eNews 21 Leader," says Rita Henley Jensen, editor in chief of Women's eNews. "Their often unnoticed initiatives are enormously significant in the worldwide efforts to ensure women take their place in all aspects of daily life, from the equitable distribution of food to ending tyranny and all that is required to accomplish both."

Women's eNews invites its readers to be amazed too by the work of the following 21 Leaders for the 21 st Century for 2008.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

A fierce woman. An intelligent woman. A leader.

A fierce woman
An intelligent woman
A leader

May the prickly roses be true to their meaning.

Layla Love

I will learn how to raise my voice and share. I am in training. These words came raw and unplanned. Inspired enough to join forces. We have the right not to remain silent.

Gloria Steinem

Keynote Speaker at the Freedom on Our Terms Convention

This woman brings us honest and open questions, keeps us thinking and acting, and moving toward peace and involvement. We are in need of heroes of the brave at heart.

Thank you, Rosie. Thank you to all the great women who made this possible.

a dairy of many: we are never the same person twice.

i have been wanting to write for years. i have been writing for years. time for sharing. stop stop. not time yet. how not to let the ego pull me forward? i only step to the center after spending much time on the sidelines, watching, growing, listening, learning. i have so much more to learn, so very far to go, but there comes a moment in evolution when one feels ripe, so ripe they might burst. i am in one of these great times, when the pain of holding back becomes greater than the fear of letting go.
i am sharing personal stories with anyone who is interested. i do not claim to be an expert on anything, in fact, i remain a mystery even to myself - so how could i ever claim to know another? the sad lonely truth of this world. impossible to get under another's skin. yet, oh how hard we try.
life makes me laugh - it is so ridiculous.
this book will be seven chapters. it will explore natural health and healing. fuck the drugs and the system. greed and lack of common sense has turned American health care into a nightmare.
rape. yes, it happens to most women, many children, girls, and boys. it happens every two seconds in America. it is a strategy of war. if there is ever to be a chance of seeing a healing humanity we must start here - the basic respect for our sacred temples...breakdowns into breakthroughs. i will never be a victim. i will not plant this seed of fear within me. women find your weapons, whether it be your voice or your leaving.
this book also explores the modern role of family, of friends and lovers, of politics and sex, the environment, the spirit, the reasons we keep breathing and the paths we find toward joy. it is complex - a reflection of life through my eyes.

Friday, January 18, 2008

One of the more raw interviews from this summer. ps. is using the word "bastard" when talking about my mama really ok? pps. i am a bastard child, too

It is interesting to me how media shapes us, how it boils a lifetime down into a single page, exaggerating some points, using hot-button words, some beautiful understatements thrown in for balance. Nothing we ever read is accurate of a life. Still, we try and we try. It is this attempt to explain and deliberate on our humanity that intrigues me...

trauma to transformation. we do not have a choice in what happens to us in this life. but we do have a choice in how we react. i think art transforms raw emotion into something more useful. i am not ashamed to paint my face or hide behind his black and blue marks, to cry rivers until the soil is ripe with fresh fruit and the rebuilding, the rebirth comes like sweet unexpected relief. i seek joy, understanding, and honesty. the rest i leave behind.

Layla Love - Photography baptism by fire
By Bessie King
Layla Love may be categorized as an up and coming artist for her photography, but to those who know her past, she is better seen as a warrior. Using her camera as therapy after her tumultuous upbringing during which Love has been raped, beaten and diagnosed with a neurological movement disorder, her art is understandably hard-fought.

Love’s mother, an Irish gypsy, was a bastard child forced to work as a farmhouse worker after being separated from her mother in Northern Ireland. She got pregnant on a trip to America, giving the artist no specific cultural roots like her mother. She moved and lived in more than 30 countries before turning 18. While still an older teen, she decided to leave home to travel across America and Europe. Struggling for money and stability, Love took refuge in art at age 12 trying to channel her emotions to create something hoping to make people think and grow. Photography became the means for her creative expression. Her first photo expedition was on her 21st birthday in Darfur.

“I was with an anthropologist who had been following a group of women who self-mutilated as a form of protection, a practice which began with the colonial slave trade and still continues today,” Love said.

Her expedition into Sudan and Chad influenced her desire to keep traveling and exposing people’s stories from across the globe. She has traveled to Africa and the Middle East. She has gone to all parts of Asia, reaching Japan, China, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam. Her residences on her voyages have ranged from orphanages to churches and even jails at times. Love has called Australia, London and New York home and has collected thousands of pictures from her travels.

From July 31 to August 4, Love had the chance to debut her work in a solo exhibition of 100 pieces from her extensive portfolio, showcased at the World Culture Open Center in New York City. The exhibition, “Representing Woman - Unbreakable Surrealism,” documents the combination of chaos and order within human life. Photographing the masses and the esteemed alike, including Gloria Steinem, Ani DiFranco, and the Dalai Lama, Love creates a fusion between a photojournalistic approach and the capturing of fantasy.

“In my life, thus far the only thing that remains constant is my obsession with recording life as honestly and openly as I can,” she said. “I only hope that in sharing my work people will stay open to make their own voice real.” Although peaceful in nature and more than willing to chat, one may wonder if a difficult background is the only reason why this woman has a ‘flower child’ personality. But as she explains, there should be no stereotypes of prejudices because they may shock those who employ them.

When growing up Love was exposed to rich and poor environments alike. Her father, of Russian descent, has a stable life and economic means. This gave Love chance to mingle with diplomats and models, learning how to act in any situation with comfort. In the midst of her disjointed upbringing, Love was also diagnosed with crippling Dystonia, a neurological movement disorder in which sustained muscle contractions cause twisting and repetitive movements or abnormal postures.

Adding to the turmoil of dealing with a movement disorder that affects a quarter-million Americans, Love has also been raped and beaten. After the incident, the first thing she reached for was her camera. She chose to videotape herself while making calls on her phone, trying to get help, as it was the best way she could process. Eventually, Love was able to create with what she lived through.

“I have always lived in chaos, knowing I was loved. Love and chaos…if you want to trace me to my roots, that’s what you will find,” she added.

Her photographs are as direct as she is in explaining her history. Featuring young and old, in portraits or nudes, each photo tells a story. Whether it is a child looking intently at the camera or a beautiful sunset by the ocean, art aficionados saw a variety of pieces from fine art to surrealism in her New York exhibit. Featured in the exhibit was the work of Allison Kramer, whose photo-essayist approach documenting Love’s life and career reflect their mutual passion to produce art. Kramer covers the progressive stages of Love’s illness, vulnerability, and most intimate relationships. In regards to relationships, Love admits that marriage and single-hood are only labels.
A self-described passionate woman she is torn between wanting ‘the other half’ and enjoying her independence. While still learning about Love, the woman, who does not acknowledge age in her life, admits that she will continue to meet possible soul mates.
“In every country [I visit] I make sure to do three things: visit the holy places, read the papers, and have friends and lovers who are locals,” she said.
What the future may bring for this survivor could be as unexpected as her life has been. Although she is a college graduate, with a bachelor’s in journalism and visual communication from the University of California at Santa Cruz, she wants to continue to educate herself, relying on her instinctive character. Other projects are also in the works with four books ready to be printed, but waiting for a publisher. Most importantly, she wants to excel and help others know life is, after all, beautiful. “I am ready to share…I draw my inspiration from God, by a higher power. I am looking for gallery walls to fill, for people to work with [and] I am an unrelenting optimist,” Love said. Love is a member of the arts collaborative Red Monsoon, where artists embrace a shared spirit and create works that bridge on their experiences. To see Love’s art visit http://www.lovephotography.org/.
Bessie King is the Entertainment Editor for Blast Magazine. A Mexican-American Texas native who resides in Boston, she has worked for Spanish and English media alike. She can be reached at king.be@blastmagazine.com
In Culture, Features, People, Photo Stories, The Blast Interview September 3, 2007

still black trailer

Kortney Ryan Ziegler. My oldest and dearest friend, my art family. Her mind is brilliant, the message is always both beautiful and honest - more open than most. She is a member of the tribe who believes that there is no such thing as overexposure; there is rather a need and a will to share...and that is what we do. I will be doing the still photography for Still Black this spring. I developed my creative eye with this woman so now is the time for us to meld into one vision.

So much respect.

The first book I will complete after A Dairy of Many....

I have the privilege of photographing these wonderful women for a full-length book, which is a visual exploration of Hurricane Season. I will be joining them on their 56-city tour this coming summer. Be ready for the fire in your belly to be joined by the light, center stage. Activism is ablaze, my soul is ready, my eyes open, my heart honored.

I will also be getting some huge new prints ready to create a gallery show that follows and moves with the wisdom, the hidden messages in water. We need to purify, we need to respect this Earth. The time for change is now. The reasons are many, the meaning is overabundant. I am ready.

I am blessed. I am alive with this possibility*

Who is Climbing PoeTree?

These are the most talented soul sisters that the world could hope for. To bear witness to their art is a blessing beyond dreams. Make it real. Be inspired. Create, act, do, enjoy*

Allison Kramer

Layla has been my photography subject for a long time now. I consider her one of my best friends, we have been the best support for each other through the happiest times and the most difficult. I have to give credit to her for being such a wonderful influence for creativity in my life. She has shaped me and has encouraged me to stand tall, be soft, and absorb life as it comes.

Thank you Layla for being who you are.

If you would like to see more about me and the work that I do with Layla, please visit my website at: www.allisonkramer.com

Layla and I, as a team, are going to be publishing two books in tandem within the upcoming months.

Layla and I thrive by creating art together. We need to tell a story. Her story. This visual diary aims to encourage change in the way people think about women, the power of art, and standing up for what you believe in.

This book is a visual guide to empowerment. A salute to women. A guide to tell the world and its stereotypes and conformist expectations to fuck off. This is a book to encourage women to do what they wish, to live free but be careful about it. To live for a purpose and belong to their meaning. We deserve equality by empowering ourselves first. We deserve the respect that men do. We deserve the accolades that we are capable of. We deserve our own revolution.

Women stand tall, salute to the fire within us, let's take these steps for our children, for our humankind, and embrace what we are.

I photograph Layla Love: My subject, my muse, my inspiration.


My voice will be heard.


LIFE HAS NO LIMITS...www.allisonkramer.com