The Alternative Limb Project

THE ALTERNATIVE LIMB PROJECT was founded by Sophie de Oliveira Barata, using the unique medium of prosthetics to create highly stylised wearable art pieces.

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.

Sophie collaborates with specialists in fields such as 3D modelling, electronics, and cutting edge technology to create each piece. Clients have included Paralympic athletes, music performers, models and video game companies.

The Alternative Limb Project is always on the look out for future collaborators and ways of engaging new audiences. If you wish to exhibit The Alternative Limb Project’s work, or would like to enquire about collaboration, please get in touch.


The process for creating each limb varies but will always start with a consultation (unless the client is referred via their clinic). The client will usually come with existing limb structure where Sophie will work with the client’s prosthetist, or in some instances Sophie will make the whole piece from scratch (i.e. partial hands/fingers/feet/some arms).

Realistic Limbs.

Upon consultation, Sophie will usually work alongside the client’s prosthetist to discuss practicalities and check fittings. She will then work from casts, photographs and colour readings to hand-sculpt the limb inside and out to achieve optimum comfort for the wearer as well as the best possible likeness to their existing limbs. The client will be invited into the studio to complete the finishing touches.
The process takes about one month from start to finish and prices start at around £700 and can go up to £6000, depending on the limb.

Alternative Limbs.

Before the consultation clients are asked to bring a large selection of images in order to give Sophie a sense of colours, style and mood which reflect their individual tastes. The consultation will also be a chance to work out the practical requirements from their limb. Following a brainstorming session, Sophie will then work up some ideas which will be fine-tuned throughout the design process in which the client is as involved as they want to be – some clients will have very strong ideas about what they want, whereas others will be happy for Sophie to take the lead. A combination of photography, 3D scans and/or casting will be used in order to actually start work on the limb.

The process could take anything from one month to six months from start to finish. Prices vary hugely but start at around £1000.


There are different ways you can fund your limb cover/prosthesis.

Self-referral: You can pay for the treatment yourself, or through a sponsor or through an employer.

Insurance/Legal Claim: If you are involved in a legal claim and the other party has accepted liability you may qualify for treatment under the Rehabilitation Code or through interim payments. If it wasn’t your solicitor who put you in touch with us we recommend that you speak with them regarding your options.


We share studio space and often collaborate with prosthetist Chris Parsons from Design Prosthetics, who can offer advice on fitting issues and prosthetic limb care as well as complete prosthetic rebuilds.