2016 Vexedart project

Words by Vedi Djokich

After the filming of vex 13 000 – skydive art project- https://youtu.be/sQFwrJ8M8jE , I wanted to revisit the concept of painting in freefall. This time though, the focus was on capturing the destructive passage of time. Documenting how it slowly erased the work and images that I created, until they ultimately disappeared. I wanted these designs to also have a connection to time, so I drew up these 3 images:

Rabbit Skull : representing the past – memory of a childhood pet.

Cicada Eyes : representing the present – changing & evolving visions.

Balloon Skull : representing the future – inflated fears & the inevitable. These designs were screen printed onto fabric, hand painted, and sewed into steamers that would inflate in terminal velocity. They were then attached to 30lbs jugs that I held onto while skydiving, which slowly released paint onto the images. The paint continued to spill out with each second of freefall, until it devoured all 13 ft of fabric, leaving nothing left. My white gear also got covered. During the last jump the paint jug imploded and my right arm was covered in black paint.

I created unique wood pieces of the 3 images, along with hand printed (silk screened) & painted, limited edition prints of /30, on paper of each design.

These prints are available for purchase through my online store @
http://www.vexedart.com/store_prints_…

If you are interested in purchasing the unique 48’’ x 36’’ wood panel pieces please email me @ http://www.vexedart.com/contact.html
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Special thanks to the following skydivers, videographers and photographers for helping to capture this project.

Sara & Steve Curtis : – http://www.azarsenal.com

Nik Daniel : – https://blog.niklasdaniel.com

Jason Peters : – http://www.aboveallphotography.com

Thanks also to Cosmoprod for composing the original music.

Artist & Editor Vedi Djokich @ http://www.vexedart.com/home1.html

16 pages of behind the scenes content from this art series @ http://www.vexedart.com/Time_art_seri…

Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/vexedart_/

G+ : https://plus.google.com/+Vexedart

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/wwwvex…

Brianne Thompson receives USPA regional achievement award.

USPA recognizes its members for contributions to the sport of skydiving and to USPA.
The Regional Achievement Award is to honor an outstanding member of a USPA Region who, by their efforts over a period of time or one outstanding act, has made a significant contribution to that region’s skydiving community.

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Photo by Melissa Lowe

Regional Director, Shawn Hill proudly awards Brianne Thompson the USPA Regional Achievement Award for assisting in spearheading Operation Enduring Warrior & her work with Axis Flight School.

Congratulations, Brianne! And thank you for all your contributions to the sport!

 

 

SDAZ FEATURED FRIDAY – BRIANNE THOMPSON

View original post on Skydive Arizona website here. Interview by Melissa Lowe.

Skydive Arizona is a big drop zone with many extraordinary people from local to visiting jumpers, staff, pilots, instructors, ground crew, maintenance, manifest to teams, event organizers and load organizers!!! The Featured Friday series is aimed at getting to know the people that make Skydive Arizona work and rock!

Today, we meet a woman with a stacked resume including earning the USPA 2015 Regional Achievement Award. This woman has blazed (no pun intended) the trail continuing to inspire skydivers of all disciplines. Meet co-founder of Axis Flight School, Brianne Thompson!

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What/who inspired you to make your first jump and why?

Ever since I learned that you could jump out of an airplane, anytime you wanted, I knew it was something I had to do. My parents were scuba divers, so as a young person, I knew that there were places on this planet that would educate you to do “dangerous” things. All I had to do was locate one of those places for skydiving.
Where & when did you learn and what kind of student were you? 
I actually learned here at SDAZ in the summer of 2000. I tormented my parents for years, begging for them to let me go skydiving. I even asked if I could get a fake ID to get around the minimum age of 18. They were less than enthused. So, for my 18th birthday in December of 1999, my dad and I did a tandem together for my 18th birthday. Needless to say, I was hooked. The school gave me flyers about how to go about becoming a student. I was on the website everyday, trying to figure out how to pay for it, when I was going to do it, etc. I was still in high school at the time of my jump. So, once I graduated and got all of my graduation money, I took all that, in addition to working two jobs, and scheduled myself for my A-license in August of 2000. I think I got my A-license in about 10 days. Fun fact, Matt Greis was one of my AFF instructors. Pretty cool.

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Many may not know your history in competing in 4-way. What piqued your interest in competing, why 4-way FS & how long did you compete?  
When I was a student during August, there were days that it was literally me and Airspeed on the plane. At the time, they had two 4-way teams. I got to watch them train, practice, prep, all that. I thought they totally looked cool because of their matching equipment, I had no idea that they were the best team in the world. Let alone, that same day I learned you could actually compete in this crazy thing called skydiving. Mind blown! So, because I enjoyed skydiving so much, I knew I wanted to compete in it. But, with my limited experience, I figured you needed about 10,000 jumps before I could even consider doing something like that. Those guys have matching jumpsuits and stuff, that is kind of a big deal. When I had about 75jumps, a jumper approached me in the loading area and asked “Would you like to do 4-way?” I told her I wasn’t very good, I only had 75 jumps. “That’s ok, we will teach you”. And that was it. She became one of my first teammates, and I competed in Nationals that year. My first Nationals was 2003 in Lake Wales, FL. After that, it was competitive after competitive team. I was on the US Team from 2006-2010 for women’s 4-way. I went to my first world meet when I had 900 jumps in Gera, Germany in 2006, Maubeuge, France in 2008, and Russia in 2010. Fun ride.

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What/who inspired you to learn to freefly? 
There was never one person. When I was a little, baby skydiver, I always wanted to learn to freefly. I even got 2 freefly coach jumps when I had about 60 jumps. For me, I just had to focus on one thing at a time, and that was competitive belly 4-way. I dabbled a lot with freely in the tunnel and would do a goof off jump every once in a while, never really learning or advancing. But, my biggest influence is Niklas Daniel, my totally awesome husband. He was a tunnel instructor and so was always a freeflier, so to speak. He has been my biggest influence and coach for freefly and VFS. He has taught me the most.

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You are now a member of the 4-way VFS team Arizona X-Force. What inspired you to learn VFS? 
See previous answer. In addition, because of my competitive 4-way background, it was only natural that I wanted to do VFS. In fact, I pretty much learned to freefly just to do VFS in a way. Because of the VFS discipline, I was more motivated than ever to learn to freefly.

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Was it a hard transition going from FS to VFS? What skills translate from each discipline? 
No and yes. Meaning, the principles of 4-way are the same, regardless of orientation. You have to cross reference, you have to be level, and you have to stop, all before you take a grip. That is universal. However, the flight skills needed to even begin VFS are significantly more advanced, for sure. You have to be proficient in head-up and head-down orientations. So the individual skills needed for VFS are definitely more advanced. In addition to finding 3-4 other teammates with similar proficiencies.

Team by David CherryYou have many achievements! So many we’re just going to link your BIO HERE! Is there any achievement that stands out that you feel most proud of? 
I have 2:

1) Starting AXIS Flight School with Nik. I am most proud of that. We began AXIS because we were sick and tired of the rifts in skydiving. Belly vs Freefly, freefall vs. canopy, tunnel fliers vs. skydivers. So stupid! We believe you need a respect for ALL aspects of skydiving. It is fun to be able to competitively do many of the disciplines of this sport, then be able to teach them as well.

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2) Working with the Operation Enduring Warrior Projects. It has been so cool to teach these individuals, with varying injuries, to skydive and fly their bodies with complete control. So awesome. Todd Love was our first OEW student, and we have had a handful of completely awesome students from this project after him. We have seen this project go from theoretical to happening all over the country. Many of these students working towards their B licenses and beyond. Wicked.
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You are one of the coaches here at Skydive Arizona and co-founder of Axis Flight School. In a nutshell, what does Axis Flight School do and how can one get in touch with you?
AXIS Flight School is a coaching entity that teaches ALL aspects of this sport. From individual skills to learning to compete. We coach in the sky, the tunnel, and canopy skills- hence the name AXIS: For all AXIS of flight. We believe that everyone should respect all disciplines in the sport. You may not do all of them, or they all may not appeal to you, but you do need a healthy respect for all of them. We teach that. Our entire goal is to bridge that gap from the young jumper just off of A license, to becoming the next world champion. That is our goal. In addition, we believe it is the responsibility of the more experienced people in this sport to be nice/ approachable/ cool to the younger jumpers.
Any advice for newbies? 
Get coaching. Stay patient. Get coaching. Get on a team.
Anything else you’d like to add? 
This sport has so much to offer. If you find you feel “stuck” or are not sure what comes next, don’t sweat it. Give us a call. This sport is so diverse that it might be a bit overwhelming. There is something here for everyone. You just may need a little help with finding that thing that appeals to you. After your A license, it gets better. The A license is only the first step, not the entire goal. You may be the next world champion. We look forward to finding out.