When Aerik Martin set out in 2012 to form his own team, he had a few ideas in mind. He wanted to create a working collective of suspension practitioners focused on learning and sharing their craft with other practitioners as well as lead a team focused on the suspendees’ goals and vision for the experience rather than their own. That idea came together in Catalyst for Awareness with Intention by Ascension or CAIA Collective. Over two years later, their reputation has quickly grown for being an incredible group to suspend with, offering a positive environment for suspendees to bring their concepts to life.

One of their most recent projects came from the mind of tattoo artist Corey Divine when he decided to combine his passion for tattooing with his new found love of suspension. Corey’s journey into body suspension began just a few months back, when his visit to overseas gave him the unique opportunity to have his first suspension organized by Jake Waylay of Waylay Suspension Force surrounded by the beautiful Australian scenery. Corey said that he was immediately in love with suspension and has wanted to do it again ever since.

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Knee suspensions can be quite an experience on their own; although immensely enjoyable, the sensation of hanging inverted can be disorienting and a bit overwhelming for some people at first. With this in mind, CAIA initially discussed the potential drawbacks of doing a knee suspension while trying to tattoo, but in the end Corey knew that it was the suspension he wanted for this project.

It was apparently the right choice. Corey said that the suspension was very comfortable and an amazing experience for him, especially with his good friend Luna Cobra there to support him and work the ropes while he went up. His partner for the project, Emma Loorents, was a friend and client that he met in Sweden when they started her backpiece. She was already involved in suspension, and seemed like the perfect fit for Corey to collaborate with. After being up for about 15 minutes to get oriented and comfortable, he was able to continue working on her for another 30 minutes before coming down from the suspension.

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Emma, whose focus was on being mobile during and after the tattoo session, chose to be suspended in a cradle type position to allow her to transition from knees to back. I am sure Corey was aware of what a remarkable and tough young lady he was picking when he paired up with her for this; CAIA tells us that she not only sat through the suspended tattoo session wonderfully, but continued on to complete 5 different positions throughout a 4 hour period.

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In discussing CAIA, Jessica stated, “We have a phrase that we use, “It’s not about the hooks”. And to us – it’s not. It’s about the people on the hooks – the experience of that individual. The moment where the feet are freed from the earth and a truly unique and un-replicable moment is born.”

Judging from the wonderful things that suspendees like Corey have to say about their team, I would say that they are certainly achieving their goal of creating those unforgettable moments.

Thank you to Corey, Jessica, and Aerik for talking to us about this fantastic suspension, and to Mark Sandstorm for the stunning images. He is currently working on video of the project as well. Be sure to check out his website, or follow him on Instagram: @mark_sandstorm

CAIA is: Aerik Martin, Milo Burkholder, Alex Olejniczak, Jessica Irvin, and Marshall Phillips.

*All photos submitted and permission of usage have been granted by author.  Suspension.org claims no rights to any images used in the post.