Traditionally, the term ‘artists' materials’ was used to refer to a limited number of physical resources from which artists were able to create paintings or three-dimensional sculptures. Though supported by historical precedent, this definition may no longer be relevant. The aim of this chapter is to assess the materials currently used by artists in order to develop a better understanding of their intentions and of the relevance of works of contemporary art for immediate and future audiences. Through an overview of the means for deliberate mark and object making from prehistory to present-day, the chapter considers how artists represent both the world around them and their ideas. By analysing the work of contemporary practitioners James Turrell (born USA, 1943) 1 and Andy Goldsworthy (born UK, 1956), with reference to further relevant artists and critical theories, the chapter serves to problematise the notion of ‘materials’.