Issue date: 15 November 2006
The University of the West of England (UWE) has been working with schools in South Bristol, to help young people translates their 'wishes' into online form, as part of the Watershed's highly successful annual online advent calendar, called 'Electric December'.
Electric December, now in its eighth year is run by the Watershed with support from C4 and the Guardian newspaper and receives tens of thousands of hits every day.
This year, the 2006 calendar days have been produced through collaborations between different organisations, schools and community groups.
Shawn Sobers of the Bristol School of Art, Media and Design (BSAMD) at UWE has developed and co-ordinated UWE's contribution this year working with children from Ashton Gate Primary and Ashton Park Secondary Schools. The project, entitled 'Wishing Worlds', was to create an interactive gallery of work by the children on the theme of 'wishing'.
Shawn says, “The work was inspired by two main questions: 'If you were in charge of the world for a day, what would you do?' and 'If you could make any dream come true, what would it be?' The children translated their ideas into animations and short video clips which have been embedded into two surreal magical landscapes. The children narrate the clips in a way which melts the heart and makes you feel good. Just like a good wish should!”
The animation and web design for the project was produced by Oli Lyndale, a talented 2nd year Media Practice student at BSAMD. Oli also has experience of working in video, sound and radio production, and during his studies at UWE, he developed a particular specialism in interactive design and animation.
The facilitator was local artist and video maker Amy Feneck, who worked directly with the children in the schools. The project also aimed to train teachers in the schools in digital photography, audio recording and basic animation. It is hoped this will be part of an ongoing relationship between BSAMD and schools in the Ashton/Bedminster area.
This project was funded by UWE, with additional support from Creative Partnerships, Ashton Gate Primary School, and Ashton Park Secondary School. Other contributors to the project include Aardman Animations and a wide range of the regions leading media producers in partnerships with young people and community groups.
The work will be on display for the whole world to see from 1 December at http://www.electricdecember.org
as part of the Watershed's annual Electric December scheme. The Wishing Worlds project can be seen under the 7 December window.
Jpg visual available from the Press Office, caption: Work by local schoolchildren for the Electric December Advent Calendar.