Children put their best face forward for festival image

A gigantic piece of artwork featuring 1,000 different images of hundreds of children from Sheffield was unveiled at the city's Park Hill flats yesterday.

The picture, which measures 25 metres by 18 metres – nearly 500 square yards – was produced through the Close Up project, which involved 500 pupils from 15 schools in the Arbourthorne, Manor and Darnall areas of the city.

The schoolchildren worked with artist, photographer and filmmaker Esther Johnson over a three-month period to create their own self-portraits.

Those self-portraits were then positioned, using a technique popularised by artist Chuck Close, to create a photographic mosaic of Sherrelle Parker, a pupil from Emmaus Catholic and Church of England Primary School.

Year Six pupil Sherrelle, described as an "exemplary" pupil, was selected after each school involved in the project was asked to nominate an outstanding child.

The unveiling of the Close Up artwork is one of the highlights of the 2010 Sheffield Children's Festival, which runs until Saturday, July 3.

Coun Roger Davison, cabinet member for culture, sport, tourism and city centre events at Sheffield Council, said: it was an excellent addition to Sheffield Children's Festival.