Viewfinder is an online arts project by young people for young people.

Photoworks teamed up with the Brighton Photo Biennial and Lighthouse on a project that aimed to equip young people with the skills, experience and resources necessary to design an online creative space where they can investigate contemporary digital arts practice, photography and film, and set up opportunities for their friends and families to take part too.

Led by artist Marianne Holm Hansen, a group of year 10 students from Brighton’s Aldrige Community Academy (formerly Falmer High School) looked at artworks, met artists, visited exhibitions and talked to curators in order to inspire and inform their designs for online art projects and offline events for their peers. The activities included making with drawing, photography and digital animation as well as critical activities.

Featured right from the beginning, the creation and construction of the Viewfinder website – beginning with students’ blogs and documentation of their visits and artwork, and concluding with the creation of a platform that enables other young people to participate. All this content has been generated by the group in close consultations with various artists and other creatives.

In April and May 2010, the students visited the Decode exhibition at the V&A in London, met with artist group Blast Theory in Portslade, spoke to Marc Garrett of Furtherfield during his visit to Lighthouse, and took part in Flickers: Off the Path by Rachel Henson, at the Brighton Festival 2010. Inspired by Henson, the students developed their own digital flick books, using animation software and Flip cameras in a series of workshops.

During the Brighton Photo Biennial in 2010, the group ran two public workshops in Brighton inviting their peers to make and upload artwork expressing their views of Brighton. The brief followed on from Martin’s Parr’s approach to the Brighton Photo Biennial in 2010 – asking artists to respond to the city. The first event with an invited group at the new central library, the second as a drop in event in the city centre on a Saturday afternoon.

In 2011, Viewfinder will enter into a new stage of development. In the meantime visit the website to see what’s happened and take part yourself and add your own comments.