The team pose with their BAFTA and Dancing on Ice winner Suzanne Shaw. © BAFTA
An interactive website designed to inspire the artists of the future has been awarded a Children’s BAFTA.
ArtisanCam, a resource for use in the classroom and at home, features leading artists such as Antony Gormley and Wang Qinsong selected not only for their skill but their ability to encourage children to get involved.
The free website was launched in 2004, the brainchild of Keith Alexander who says: “It was a huge achievement just to be nominated for a BAFTA so it is completely overwhelming to have actually won it. We are still in a state of shock.”
The awards recognise excellence in children’s film, television and online and were presented by stars including Dannii Minogue and Geri Halliwell at the ceremony on Sunday November 30 2008.
The team celebrates with Strictly Come Dancing's Tom Chambers. © BAFTA
ArtisanCam is a far cry from ‘Here’s one I made earlier’, children can watch artists in action, indulge in their own aesthetic exploits and ask questions in live web interviews. Online workshops provide a wealth of rainy day activities – including making a hardback book, designing and making jewellery and textile printing.
A separate section for teachers gives classroom workshops, further reading and tips. A recent comic book produced by Umlando Wezithombe in celebration of Nelson Mandela’s 90th birthday provides cross-curriculum inspiration for young learners. All activities support the National Curriculum for children at Key Stages 2 and 3.
ArtisanCam was nominated for two BAFTAs last year, but Alexander maintains this year’s win came as a surprise: “We’re a very small team and we were up against big production companies with much greater resources, so it’s a fantastic achievement.”
An achievement he no doubt hopes to replicate later this week at the MEDEA Awards for excellence and innovation in the use of media in education. ArtisanCam is one of six nominees to attend the Berlin ceremony.
Visit ArtisanCam at www.artisancam.org.uk.