The 'Alternative Limb Project' Turns Prosthetics Into Works Of Art

Brittany Rae 1 Sep 2020

Welcome to the beauty of art meeting medical advancement! The next frontier of prosthetics is being championed by designer Sophie de Oliveira Barata, and it is nothing short of cool.

She makes custom prosthetics for her clients, and those designs can range from hyper-realistic limbs to futuristic, robotic pieces. Don't take my word for it, though — let's dive in and see what the future looks like.

The Alternative Limb Project is a fresh approach to prosthetics.

"Merging the latest technology with traditional crafts, Sophie’s creations explore themes of body image, modification, evolution and transhumanism, whilst promoting positive conversations around disability and celebrating body diversity." Her website states.

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Her designs are wide-ranging and incredibly beautiful.

This is the "Vine," custom made for model and disability activist Kelly Knox. It explores Knox's love of the extraterrestrial, paired with her love of botanical life. Knox serves as a model for many of Sophie's designs!

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Some are art pieces.

The Alternative Limb Project

Like this one, which is actually linked to her heartbeat!

"The internal electronics take a reading of her pulse, and the wrist then ticks in time to her heartbeat." The site states.

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This light-up leg was done for a Rolls Royce photoshoot.

It was designed for model Viktoria Modesta, who has also featured Sophie's gorgeous spike leg. She also modelled the stereo leg, which you have to see to believe.

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Meet the stereo leg.

This was created for Viktoria, and has an actual speaker embedded in it. The rest is made of resin, pearls, beads, and other materials! My mind is blown.

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She also makes incredibly realistic limbs.

Apart from her gorgeous mechanical work, Sophie creates hyper-realistic limbs that are custom-designed for each client. They're made to perfectly match the customer's skin, down to the tiny hairs.

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Other prosthetics have more traditional shapes...

But are done in amazing finishes, like the floral porcelain leg.

"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," Limb Power founder Kiera Roche said.

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The spike leg is easily one of her most recognizable pieces.

It's gone viral a few times, particularly in fashion circles. While not practical for day to day, it's an amazing art piece for high fashion purposes.

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She even designed feather armor!

"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?" Actor Grace Mandeville said of her custom arm.

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