Bespoke Limbs

Prosthetics Bespoke limbs

Sophie de Oliveira Barata works out of a bright white, semi-disheveled northwest London studio surrounded by feet and fingers, legs leaning against walls and hands that look real enough to shake. With a background in art and special-effects makeup, she worked for eight years for a prosthetics manufacturer before deciding to become a creator of bespoke limbs. “It meant I could use my creative skills and do something massively rewarding,” she said, dropping an oddly appealing man’s foot in my lap. “Making an alternative limb is like entering a child’s imagination and playing with their alter ego,” she said. “You’re trying to find the essence of the person.”

In 2011, Sophie de Oliveira Barata started the Alternative Limb Project and soon found interested clients. She created one leg with a stereo embedded in it, another with removable muscles and a third, among others, that housed minidrawers. Recently she began collaborating with artists skilled in animatronics, 3-D printing, metalwork and carbon fiber.

“After losing a limb, a person isn’t the same,” de Oliveira Barata said. “So this is a form of expression, an empowerment, a celebration. It’s their choice of how to complete their body — whether that means having a realistic match or something from an unexplored imagination.”

Quoting:    http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/11/03/magazine/03limbs_in.html?_r=0

Photo: Ryan Seary – formerly an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician, US military

http://installationmag.com/alternative-limb-project-extreme-extremity/

Walking the Tightrope Metaphor

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“Peter Brook: The Tightrope” is a documentary film of actors pretending to walk a tightrope. Simon Brook, son of Peter Brook, directed this film which is as much about actor-training as it is about exposing a metaphor.

In fact, the ‘tightrope’ was a rolled-up Persian carpet on which the actors had to maintain balance but were permitted to perform tricks or stunts. Most importantly, they had to convey that they were genuinely suspended in the air, their feet hugging a thin cord.

Peter Brook, a theater director who is nearly 90 years old, coached the actors using both simple and abstract instructions. The participants soon understood the tightrope as a metaphor for the risks we take in life and the risks inherent in every serious acting role.

A.O. Scott, the New York Times film reviewer extended this metaphorical understanding: “At some point, though, perhaps many years after the encounter recorded here, they will peek down at the chasm under their feet and find themselves possessed of the agility and imagination to keep going.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/31/movies/peter-brook-the-tightrope-follows-the-theater-director.html?_r=0