Retreats: Savage Ranch – NOWNESS

Savage Ranch is a queer refuge and artist commune founded by performer, designer, and artist Love Bailey, located just south of Los Angeles. Getting her start as a dancer, Bailey moved on to working across a multitude of artistic practices, from fashion to music. The most recent incarnation of Bailey’s creative drive is the Ranch—a space that was founded as an intentional creative community dedicated to giving activists and artists a haven free from any gender and sexual discrimination. And while the Ranch is a refuge, Bailey encourages those who spend time in the desert-bound locale to push their limits and boundaries.

At the Ranch, emphasis is placed on having a ‘can do’ and DIY attitude, with participants being encouraged to get involved in its myriad creative activities. Liza Mandelup, who took the director’s chair, captured daily life (from body painting to impromptu musical jams) and nighttime antics at this unique community, far from the madding crowd and traffic fumes of LA.

Speaking about her time spent with Love, Mandalup says: “Love’s world is something that deserves a film because it’s really hard to put into words—you just need to experience it. I came to the ranch with a small crew; just me, the director of photography, Ben Whatley, and my sound mixer Gabe Stewart, and we stayed for a week. All of us being artists as well, we felt like we didn’t want to leave. Her world is magnetic and freeing. She holds no judgments against anyone. Everyone is welcome at the ranch if you can contribute and want to be a part of fulfilling the fantasy. Temecula is such an interesting place to have something like this exist; it’s wine country. Miles and miles of vineyards and people on vacation. No one expects this to be there.”

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