Stuff and Body

Body & Stuff - Exploring the Physicality of Materials and Objects

Collective Studio at NewBridge Project, Gateshead.

One-day workshop lead by Laura White

This event will explore how our bodies relate, negotiate and deal with materials/objects/stuff...

Looking at familiar everyday encounters - ordinary objects, such as kitchen utensils and cheap ready-mades - to making/constructing objects, which can relate to our own physical bodies, challenging both the object/material capacity and our body posture/movement in relation to objects/stuff.


Everyone bring a familiar object that they use regularly - e.g. utensil from kitchen, studio, workplace.

Part 1:

  • Pick up a familiar object, handle as would usually, then handle differently, use all of our bodies to discover new aspects of these objects - e.g. using a spoon in unfamiliar impractical ways - balance on the back of our hands, picking up with our feet... Understand the materials they are made of, how our body works/collaborates with them…

  • Use objects/stuff blindfolded - what can we discover?

  • Re awaken our experiences of negotiating the stuff around us - materials, objects, furniture etc.

  • Discuss/share experience. What have we learnt about the familiar objects we have used and our bodies through this activity?

Part 2:

  • Make an object/thing that accommodates/challenges our own body, using a range of materials provided.

  • Explore object/thing made using our body and others, both while making it and when it is complete - challenge our usual body movement/behaviour. How can the object extend our experience of both our body and the object.

  • Use our body as an armature to attach materials, or make objects that are transferable to other bodies.

  • Transferable objects - give to another person to explore with their body - how does their body negotiate material/object different to our own.

  • Do an ‘Object Selfie’ with our phones to document our object negotiations.

  • Respond/describe the experience in other forms - writing/spoken/drawing/movement/other. E.g. Write a paragraph/list of words, abstract mark making, sounds/words, gesture/movement to unpack interesting moments from your material/body experiments.

  • Discuss the experience - what have we learnt about objects, materials and ours and others’ bodies.

Materials used:

Dough (flour, yeast and water)

Tapes - packing and gaffer

Cheap Ready-mades - mop heads, broom, kitchen utensils, cheap plastic ready-mades etc.

Old clothes

String and rope


Needle and thread

Card, glue


Expanding foam




Disposable all-in-one overalls



(knives, scissors, paper, mixing bowl etc…)