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Extraordinary life-size puppet explores man’s relationship with objects

LIFE-SIZE ME by Peter John-MortonAn impressive, life-size puppet will be attached to a University of Kent student for two weeks in an exceptional art project to explore the literal relationship people have with objects.

‘LIFE-SIZE ME’, by Peter John-Morton from the University’s School of Arts, will consist of a self-made puppet being permanently attached to his body for 24 hours a day, for 14 consecutive days from Wednesday 6 March 2013. In this time the puppet will choose a name, explore the city of Canterbury, as well as sleep, shower and live through Peter.

Made predominantly from wood and bamboo, the puppet’s body comprises of over 34 components, which are connected by bolts to replicate joints - allowing it to move in a similar way to a human. The puppet will be attached to the front of Peter’s own body using belt like straps, which are then padlocked. The face of the puppet is a latex, skin-like replica of Peter’s face and is attached to a solid band which goes around his head.

In total, the puppet took over 150 hours to make within an intensive 6 week period.

Speaking about the project, part of the Contemporary Performance Practice Masters programme, Peter John-Morton, said: ‘LIFE-SIZE ME gives an opportunity for dead objects to experience the phenomenon of life.

‘We manipulate objects to surpass our physical limitations. They can give us warmth, allow us to throw our voices across continents and travel to the edge of space. The material world shapes our experience of life and we build relationships and pour affection upon objects that physically can offer nothing in return.

‘Ultimately I want to explore how the object I have made fits into this world. In the two weeks I am living both through the object, and for the object.’

The face of the life-size puppet is a latex replica of Peter's faceNesreen Hussein, Lecturer in Contemporary Performance Practice, said: ‘Peter's experiment raises important questions that are pertinent to the understanding of the relationship between humanity, identity and materiality. The project offers an excellent example of practice-as-research, where Peter has pushed his interest in objects in contemporary performance to the extreme.’

The project will consist of three performance elements; a launch and reveal of the puppet to an audience on Wednesday 6 March, a conclusion of the two week ‘attached’ phase on 20 March, and a documentary screening of the project on 3 April 2013. All performances will take place at the Aphra Theatre in the Grimond Building on the University of Kent’s Canterbury campus. Tickets are available via the Gulbenkian Ticket office.

To see the project’s journey, visit: or


Story published at 12:59pm 5 March 2013

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Last Updated: 23/05/2013