Sculpting a Picture

Defining a professional role by making an embodied picture: using other students as material

  • In groups of four: one as director, three as “material”
  • The director sculpts the others into a picture, different ways of directing may be used
    • spoken directions
    • showing the type of position with one’s own body
    • directing by touch (with consent)
    • personal styles, according to the wishes and sensibilities of each group


  • Seeing one’s position as a picture, from the outside
  • Having to define what one is experiencing, what one wants to see in the picture and whether the picture is accurate
  • Insightful, but light
  • Doing together, playful, humorous, surprises, interactive, dialogue
  • Embodied, but quite safe to do together
  • The exercise also opens up possibilities in exploring how to give directions, or to discuss afterwards how it felt to be modelled in this way, how the different means of interaction felt etc.
  • At the Hanze University of Applied Sciences, this exercise is used at the beginning of the arts pedagogical studies.

Who with:      

  • May be used with people of different ages and backgrounds


  • The same idea can be used in relation to different topics
  • May also be done outside

Author: Gudrun Beckmann and Nathalie Beekman, Hanze University of Applied Sciences Groningen, Netherlands.