Check out what creative new ideas they’re coming up with over at The Alternative Limb Project. While the artisans at The Alternative Limb Project do make traditional prosthetics, designed to look natural and be unobtrusive, they’re also creating a new flavor of prosthetics they call “alternative limbs.” Rather than let prosthetics be artifacts of people’s disabilities, they’re turning them into empowering extensions of the people wearing them. Instead of them being objects of pain or loss, they’re making them into representations of individuality and creativity. As their website says,
An alternative-style limb can help to break down social barriers, delight the eye and provide an unusual talking point.
They’re making works of art that instigate conversations! Curiosity about the artwork is helping people make connections and broach what is sometimes a taboo subject. Suddenly that person is no longer a stranger; they become a flesh and blood person who is defined by more than their missing limb.
Check out these beautiful works of art showcased on their website. I’m only sharing a few of the pictures from their website, so be sure to check out the rest at The Alternative Limb Project.
The Alternative Limb Project, floral leg for Kiera Roch
Viktoria Modesta photographed by and copyright of Jon Enoch
Wooden arm photographed by Delphine Doidy
Crystallized Leg made for Viktoria Modesta playing the Ice Queen at the London 2012 Paralympic Closing ceremony fitted at Queen Mary’s Hospital, Sponsored by Swarovski
While most artists try to use paint to create the illusion of three dimensional images, Alexa Meade uses paint on three dimensional people to make them look like 2D paintings. She body paints her subjects to look like paintings with loose strokes.
According to her website,
Alexa Meade is a 25-year-old artist whose work lies at the intersection of painting, photography, performance, and installation.
Rather than creating representational paintings on a flat canvas, Alexa Meade creates her representational paintings directly on top of the physical subjects that she is referencing. When photographed, the representational painting and the subject being referenced appear to be one and the same as the 3D space of her painted scenes becomes optically compressed into a 2D plane.
She also has a slightly longer artist’s statement available online, and a bio of her features and accomplishments.
Be sure to check out her website and portfolio. I’m going to feature a few of her images here, to give you a taste. To see her most recent creations, follow her Flickr page.
Alexa Meade, Blueprint
Alexa Meade, Mediation
Alexa Meade, Power Exchange
I tend to focus on classic, visual arts on this blog, such as painting, drawing, sculpture, and the like. But my definition of art is much broader than this, and includes music, song, dance, poetry, writing, cooking, woodworking and much, much more. That why I wanted to share with you highlights from my school’s 3rd annual Cultural Show. The Cultural Show is hosted by our campus’s International Student Organization. Nearly 100 students from 47 countries call the College of Idaho home, and the Cultural Show offers a way for international students to share aspects of their culture with the rest of the campus and local community. This annual event typically occurs during a campus celebration of Diversity Week. I thought sharing clips of the student performances would be a great opportunity to highlight the diversity of “the arts.”
So we have a really neat resource on campus, called the Orma J. Smith Museum of Natural History. It’s right here on campus at the College of Idaho, under the math and science building, Boone. It has a lot of fine specimens available to study. I’ve visited this museum a few times with art classes, and used the museum’s displays for sketching practice and inspiration.
On my most recent visit I was charged with creating a portrait composition, inspired by things on display. I ended up settling on a sketch of our model sitting in front of a stuffed and mounted zebra bust. Later, when I went to pursue the project further, I ended up blocking out the values of the stripes and the shadows on the model’s face, comic style. As I was doing so, I was inspired to combine the stripes of the zebra with the hair of the model. I flushed out the idea with water-soluble pencils. It took me about three days to finish the very tedious piece, but I very much like it. The most difficult part for me, aside from the stripes, was deciding how to capture the value of the model’s face. I felt like the face needed three values – white, gray, and dark gray – but I was limiting myself to only two. It was challenging for me to ignore the mid-tones. I don’t think it’s my usual style, though the illusionistic morphing of the model and the zebra reminded me of my figure drawing final project.
It’s the end of week two of our month long winter term. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but it’s wearing on me. I used to say “I could do art all day long!” or “I wish art was the only class I had.” I still love art, I truly do, but having art classes for six hours a day is beginning to try my patience. It becomes physically exhausting, being hunched over a drawing board, fingers tightly gripped around a small pencil, eyes straining to see details. When I’m not drawing I’m making jewelry, and my finger tips are covered in tiny nicks and cuts from the sharp ends of cut wire.
But all griping aside, I feel that I’m making a lot of progress in both classes, especially so in the portraits. I’ve been practicing drawing the features for most of my homework assignments (in a sketch book), and I can see evidence of this practice showing up in my live-model class drawings. The features are looking more realistic, and I’m getting a little bit closer to making my pictures accurately resemble the models.
Since this homework has been helping me a lot, and it’s fun to watch my progression, I thought I’d share some of my practice in my sketchbook. Keep in mind that I do better at replicating portraits from 2D photos than I do with real models. Some of the drawings are studies of David Cobley’s paintings, and were assigned by my professor.
As I mentioned in one of my previous posts, I’m taking Drawing the Portrait as one of my winter term classes. I have the class four hours a day, four days a week, for four weeks. 😛 That’s a lot of fours. But numbers aside, I’m really enjoying the class, though the long hours can be trying sometimes. I’m seeing a lot of progress in my work, but I still need to work a lot on proportions and achieving a likeness. This past week we focused on the skull, started drawing from a model, worked in charcoal and conte crayon, drew using tonal values, and ended with ink wash and gouache. I thought I’d share some of my pieces, both practice and more finished studies.
Although I wasn’t excited to go back to school so soon, I’m looking forward to my portrait drawing class. This week we’re focusing on drawing the skull, with some three-dimensional practice using clay.