4 Prosthetic Works of Art From the Alternative Limb Project

Alternative Limb Project

What if you could turn your disability into an opportunity for expression? How about superpowers, or at least special powers?…

The Alternative Limb Project has been creating realistic and alternative prosthetic limbs since a 2-year-old inspired them to think more creatively about the process.

Their collaborations with the people who wear the prosthetics are essential to the process.

Most of the limbs created by the project are the work of Sophie de Oliveira Barata, a sculptor who studied special effects prosthetics for film and television production before making realistic prosthetics for amputees and founding the ALP.

Here are four of her incredible collaborations:

Snake Arm

Jo-Jo Cranfield is a British swimmer, educator, and motivational speaker.

“I’ve never seen the interest in having a prosthetic arm, they are heavy, uncomfortable and not at all practical.

“I wanted people to have to look at me twice with amazement. … My alternative arm makes me feel powerful, different and sexy!”

Feathers, fine art, and futurism after the jump….

Feather Armour

Barata and Rowena Vickerman collaborated on this arm for actor Grace Mandeville.

“I’ve worn prosthetic arms that look real and they just get in the way.”

“They look normal, but I don’t really want to look normal, so this is like the perfect prosthetic arm.”

“I’m into fashion, and I thought: ‘What’s more awesome than wearing an arm like that?’”

Phantom Limb

Video game behemoth Konami teamed up with the ALP to create this arm inspired by the world of video game Metal Gear: Solid for James Young, a bio-science grad and speaker with a passion for tech.

The arm features a leather harness, crafted by Shashi Calhoun, tailored to James for comfort and fit. It can disconnect below the shoulder so the harness can stay on.

It also connects to his phone, charges devices, and has an open source project that allows others to design attachments. Oh, yeah – there’s also the drone….

“Once I had read a great line which stuck in my head on a website where a prosthetic user said ‘I want to take off my limb and leave it in a room, and people will recognise it and know that belongs to me. It reflects part of my personality’.”

“I totally connected with that idea as a biologist, knowing that all parts of our bodies can be recognized as being ours by our unique DNA. So why not add a personal stamp to our artificial limbs?”

Floral Porcelain Leg

Kiera Roche is the chairperson of Limb Power, a nonprofit that seeks to engage amputees and the limb-impaired in activity, sports, and the arts.

 “In the first few years my focus was on trying to be normal, wearing clothes that hid the fact that I was an amputee, but over the years I have become more comfortable with who I am and I now embrace having different legs for different activities and different occasions.”

“I think losing a limb has a massive impact on one’s self esteem and body image.”

“Having a beautifully crafted limb designed for you makes you feel special.”

What would you want on your custom prosthetic? How would your new limb express who you are as a unique being?

Source: Alternative Limb Project