VIDEO: CTV News Isla de Vancouver: Alleles Design Studio hace que las prótesis sean elegantes * 2024
VIDEO: CTV News Isla de Vancouver: Alleles Design Studio hace que las prótesis sean elegantes * 2024

About Her

Intermedia artist with experience in new media, video, photography, and animation. Specializing in nuanced disability representation and sci-art intersection.

Emery Vanderburgh, who had her leg amputated due to the bone cancer osteosarcoma, recalled getting her first Alleles cover, the Imperialist, around 2014. She would go on to own about a dozen of the covers — “one for every outfit, pretty much” — and intern this summer as a content creator at Alleles. The covers have empowered her, she told Moneyish, by showing off her prosthesis and changing people’s perception of her. ” I’m just rocking what I’m wearing,” she said. “It looks like a really high-fashion piece.”


Her work in Ampuseek and in Alleles Design Studio

Every was co-created an art initiative in Ampuseek for 2016-2018. That sought to make prosthetic care more accessible in Canada and provided positive disability representation. Ampuseek, a non-profit organization advocating for amputees and to bring coherence to the systems which support it. “We want to do amputee advocacy in a positive and confident way,” says Vanderburgh. Inspiration for Ampuseek came from the shock of how difficult it was for Vanderburgh to get funding for her own high-tech prosthetics, and the realization that this was the case for most amputees in Canada.

Emery Vanderburgh, a lower-limb amputee who wears a works at Alleles Design Studio, a Canadian company that makes custom prosthesis covers, agrees. “I’ve found it’s a really good ice breaker,” said Vanderburgh, who wears her company’s covers. “It starts a positive conversation, and it’s something people can be proud of. It changes to something that’s really optimistic and positive and contributes to an overall sense of wellbeing.”

Vanderburgh said that people “They showcase the leg, and it improves how they function in real life. They’re not trying to hide that they’re an amputee,” she said. “I think that there’s a lot of misconceptions about disabilities, and that it’s extraordinarily important to be informed so that people are educated about how to talk about it,” says Vanderburgh.


Everything she thinks about her prosthesis

Specifically, I think back to when I got my first socket, beige in colour, and how foreign it felt, and how it was just second nature to paint it, to the astonishment of my fellow amputees in rehab. Only after I’d painted it did I truly start including my prosthesis in my identity. Honestly, this helped instill in me the fact that I didn’t need my body to be the way it was before my amputation. I was ready to move on and experiment with a new identity without the baggage of mourning the loss of something that was out of my control. What was cool about this process was that I had to do it all myself; I advocated for what I wanted despite some weird looks. I was still a teenager but I figured out a lot of things on my own.

It isn’t always easy to accept that my prosthetic device is a part of me. Oftentimes, it really feels like it’s working against me, especially when I’m not able to feel comfortable or safe. The initial stages of being fitted with a new limb are, for most people, when a lot of resentment builds up toward the new limb as we go through the endless trial and error of fittings and rehab. At its core, having a prosthesis is the difference between using a wheelchair and walking. While I’ve accepted my prosthesis, I also know that acceptance is based partially on the condition of being able to continue to get better with my device in the hope that I will one day get a device that will be much more intuitive to my needs and save my sound limb from undue wear and tear.

Of course, the better the technology the easier it is to view a prosthesis as a part of you. Better technology provides amputees with better quality of life, not only on a physical and functional level, but psychologically as well. I cannot say it enough: no one should feel like they are being held back by their prosthetic limb or limbs, because they are as much a part of us as any other facet of our body. Coming to that realization was so beneficial for me.

Emery Vanderburgh, had her leg amputated and explores disability representation * Todo lo relacionado