Weather Hold

Ink of the Week: Light as a Feather

Last week we put a call out to tattooed skydivers, and asked them to share their ink and stories behind it. The response has been fantastic and as always, each skydiver has a story to tell. We are still accepting submissions and would love to see yours.
In this weekly feature, we will not only bring you a picture with a short story, but we have enlisted the help of a few art experts.

PD New Beginning


Brittany Gray.  
Her art, her story. 

Brittany Gray, Hawk Feather

Brittany Gray, Hawk Feather

I got this tattoo, a hawk feather, in January of 2013. I had just gotten my A the September before, and I probably had around 29 jumps at the time. I had known for a while that I wanted a feather, and I knew that skydiving had made enough of a permanent impact on my life that I’d be ok putting a permanent representation of it on my body. I’d do it again in a heartbeat–I’ve had landings that hurt worse (if even just my ego). 

 To me, the feather represents all that skydiving is, and also how I try to live my life. Free, light, and going easy with the wind. Like my first jump (and every jump after), I’ve never regretted it, and every day it reminds me what skydiving has given me and allowed me to become. I’ve come to affectionately refer to it as ‘my wing,’ and I can only hope to be fortunate enough to fly with it for the rest of my life. 

We have recruited a couple of art connoisseurs and asked them to read the tattoo, for a deeper meaning, should there be one.

Flesh Deco Exhibit Expert Arancione di Velluto noted:

oooo“This feather floats a fine line between realism and stylistic rendering with masterful shading execution by the tattoo artist. The bold outline allows this feather to stand out beautifully from this fair maiden’s skin.”

Skin Deep Art Expert, Le charme discret de la Bourgeoisie, had this to say:

dddd The notion of a tattoo is intimate and conversational, it fosters a dialogue between the observer and the observed, suggesting the inherent compulsion to control the temporal quality inherent to the sport of skydiving. The puerile Icarian imagery gives way to hushed and repetitive tonal variations, a tentative quality is formed, juxtaposed by the fact that this is simply a reproduction of an image on a body. Or is there more?

The stark black outline suggests, or redoubles the notion of singularity, finality, the brevity or illusion of human flight. The simple feather, confined, never liberated by the basic artistic principles it obeys, the aesthetic cues and limitations sought to set aside the mask of resemblance  (the feather) in order to accede to the analytic truth of an experience.

Skydiving/life/Human flight are all notions that are contemporary only with itself, therefore the stark depiction of a feather no longer knows any transcendence either towards past or future; a moment, a dream.  In conjunction with the medium (flesh and ink), this grounds the image in psuedo permanence, allowing the viewer to experience the reality that is; a symbolic statement, a pensive reminder of the owners acceptance with her own mortality. The fundamental struggle over our basest emotions, our fulfillment of destiny, our death drive.

Lastly, SkyGod graces us with his thoughts:

SKYGOD APPROVED_50_thumbAlthough this image lacks the cleavage SkyGod is accustomed to, the feather as an icon of flight would touch the SkyGodly heart if he were to actually show emotion. SkyGod accepts your tattoo offering, even though “No creature, or man, can fly by a single feather alone.” Write that down, minions.



Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.