Me and Alice in Oslo)))
How many years ago you get first bodymodifications and suspensions in London? How many teams you have now?
I first heard about suspension in the uk in the late 90s/early 2000s. the pioneering people were xed and the others from wildcat doing performance. as far as actual suspension teams in the uk suspending others, i think the first was Sarge and Metal Fatigue Collective in bournemouth, which is on the uk’s south coast. that group is no longer active but a lot of those people are still doing suspension etc. i have no idea how many groups there are now in the uk! i would guess less than 10, but it’s really hard to say, as i’m not so involved in suspension any more these days.
What was the first in England, how "normal" people react? How it was for you in past and how it now?
I think suspension is never going to be a mainstream thing in the uk, as for most people it is something too extreme for them to want to try it, but there is a bit more media exposure now as opposed to 10 years ago when i first started. it’s still very much the same though, performances happen at places like fetish parties and performance art spaces and tattoo conventions, it’s still a bit of a fringe activity and always will be.
How you decided to make it with your body and after for others? Where you learn it?
I decided i wanted to suspend after seeing some performances at clubs and reading about it on BME. i never had any expectations, just wanted to try once to see if i could do it. i enjoyed the experience a lot, and after trying a few suspensions decided i wanted to learn so i could share this amazing thing with other people. i learned from a few people, in the beginning with samppa von cyborg, captain howdy and vampy and nik from body evolution team, but i feel the place that taught me the most was attending the suscons in oslo and starting to work with wings of desire, that changed everything and really pushed ben and i to learn more and to improve what we did.
Tell about your work with Wings of Desire?
I started going to oslo after meeting havve at a tattoo convention here in the uk in 2006. he told ben and i we should come to the suscon, and it was a good thing because that’s my favourite suspension event to go to. even though i’m not suspending people in london anymore i still make the effort to go to suscon and as many of the suspension sundays as i can, as being crew there is the best place to learn new things and improve skills. wings of desire are like my suspension family and i feel very fortunate to be able to work with them!
How many and what bodymods you have now?
I am pretty boring these days! i have a lot of tattoos, and will continue to get more. i have some scarification, a few brands, a few piercings, and a split tongue. i had an implant in my ear but it was removed a while back, and i used to have a stretched labret but i had that sewn up earlier this year. i think for the future i don’t want any more modifications apart from more tattoos. i’m getting old!
Bodysuspension. What is it for you? Your favorite pose? How it was first time, what you felt and how many time you repeat it and why?
For me suspension is a way to challenge myself and a way to release emotion i have been storing up. my first suspension was surprising in that it felt much more comfortable and less painful than i was expecting. that first suspension was a 4 point suicide. then about 2 weeks later i suspended again, this time chest and knees, which i enjoyed a lot more, as it was a more intense sensation and i was able to relax more. for some reason i prefer to hang from the front of my body rather than the back, and my favourite pose is either chest or resurrection. i think i suspended between 80 and 100 times over the last 10 years but I’m not sure and have stopped counting!
Tell about your famous protest action about dolphins.
Well it was actually sharks, not dolphins. i worked with sea shepherd, shark savers and lush cosmetics to raise awareness of the horrible way people are killing sharks for their fins, and because of destroying sharks we are ruining the ecosystem of our oceans. i was suspended from shark hooks while dressed as a mermaid at the beginning of the campaign in the following places: london - uk, paris - france, san francisco - usa, hong kong - china and taipei - taiwan. each time the performance got a lot of attention in the press, which meant a lot of people got to hear about the protest.
Why you stop doing suspensions now?
I am no longer suspending people as part of a team in london as i don’t have enough time to dedicate myself to it in the way i should. i still work as crew with wings of desire whenever i am able to go to one of their events, and occasionally crew for people like amf when they are in the uk. i stopped performing as i don’t really feel comfortable on stage and it wasn’t something i enjoyed so much. occasionally for something like the shark protest or for when jane’s addiction toured in the uk i will come out of retirement but it’s a very rare thing these days. i will still suspend privately on occasion, just less often than before!
What are you doing and what your next plans?
I am now tattooing full time at divine canvas in london. i have been here for more than 4 years now, and that’s my focus. i plan for the future to travel more with tattooing, do more conventions and guest spots and push myself to develop my skills and grow as a tattooer.
Did you have any ideas how bodymod culture will evolve in future?
I have no idea! i feel like tattooing is at saturation point, like at some point it will reach a peak of popularity and then it will decline. i hope the crazy dangerous stuff like eyeball tattoos don’t become popular as i worry about the long term results with stuff like that which is still experimental.