Hunter's Bar Junior School
13 June - 9 July
The Showroom Lightwell

An exhibition documenting digital artwork made by children from Hunter's Bar Junior School in Sheffield whilst working in collaboration with Jon Harrison and Janet Jennings from Lovebytes. On display in the Lightwell is a large banner made up of hundreds of character designs, alongside video installations representing various elements of the project.

Avatars is an innovative creative technology project run by Lovebytes that aims to develop creative skills and digital literacy amongst primary aged school children. Between January and April 2009, a group of 90 children aged 7-8 years took part in a structured series of workshops and activities, exploring the creative uses of new technologies and learning computer-programming skills. The children gained first-hand experience of how their ideas and designs could be applied to a variety of digital media through making their own computer games, directing a 3-D animation and creating a graphic identity for this year's Sheffield Children's Festival. They began by looking at products and objects with human characteristics and went on to look at character design in popular media, including advertising, films, video games and websites. Inspired, they then designed hundreds of their own characters, or avatars, using a mixture of traditional and digital techniques and used these in their own computer games and interactive art and learning some of the fundamentals of computer programming on the way. The project was delivered using only free and open source software so that they could continue developing their own projects on their home computers.

Find out more about the Avatars project at www.avatars.tumblr.com

The children made their own computer games using a computer programming language called Scratch. You can play the games and find out more about Scratch at www.scratch.mit.edu/users/lovebytes

To accompany this exhibition, Lovebytes is running creative technology workshops for young people on 27th June and 4th July.

 - Avatars

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