Designed by Sophie de Oliveira Barata, these bespoke alternative limbs celebrate the wearer’s disability rather than trying to hide it, evidence, perhaps, of a long-awaited shift in broader cultural and media attitudes.
Sophie, who studied special effects prosthetics at London Arts University, set up her own studio after eight years working for one of the leading prosthetics companies, where she worked as a consultant alongside the client’s prosthetist.
While she also offers her skilled hand at creating realistic limbs, Sophie’s "surreal" and "unreal" lines of alternative limbs are the most unique and eye-catching attractions, boasting a variety of color and texture.
The surreal options could include bionic components, 3D reliefs, or even skin that appears to transform into that of another species. The unreal options, like the stereo and crystallized prostheses of model and singer Viktoria Modesta, can incorporate other materials like metals, crystals, and even secret compartments.
Each of her designs offer a sense of individuality, allowing the customer to express their personality through their synthetic appendages. The artist says, "Having an alternative limb is about claiming control and saying 'I'm an individual and this reflects who I am.'"
*This topic is also interesting in the context of “biohacking” which considers the impulse to modify one’s own body so it outperforms its current abilities, fast-tracking nature into a new evolution of (wo)man.