We know that letters, words and visual arts can bring people together in meaningful ways. We run artist-led creative programmes that focus on self expression & reflection, improving how we feel, exploring how our experiences may help others, challenging assumptions, building empathy and connecting as equals.
We are delighted to announce the winners of our Open Call, The 3am Project. We launched a brief in May seeking works around the theme of 3am, inspired by a nocturnal letter from Surrey History Centre's archives from Frank Baker to his love Isabel. We invited words and artworks inspired by this middle of the night moment and were overwhelmed by the response receiving over 500 entries from around the UK and around the world! With many entries of an incredible standard, our panel of five judges found it really tough to make a decision.
After much deliberation, we are pleased to announce the following works as winners.
As mentioned in our brief, works from The 3am Project Open Call will be shared as part of an exhibition. We will be sharing a curated selection of works in late October. With so much incredible work and many international entries and as we continue to live in the uncertain context of COVID, we have decided to host our exhibition online. We will be developing a new website with an online gallery for The 3am Project. Keep an eye on our social media for news as this develops.
We were truly impressed by the range and quality of work submitted and can't wait to share some of it publicly this autumn. To all those who shared work as part of the open call, we’d like to thank you for sharing your creativity with us, we were inspired and moved by seeing such a vast array of nocturnal offerings.
Thanks to our judges Sarah Bennett (Lead Artist), Stephen Boyce (Heritage Fund), Nadine Fletcher (Artist), Gemma Seltzer (Writer) and Lauren Stevens (Surrey History Centre).
At It’s Not Your Birthday But… we’re all about the power of connecting with others through letters, words and visual arts.
We work in a range of community settings from care homes to schools, hospitals to hospices, prisons to wellbeing groups. We place artists in each setting to inspire others to share what’s important or helpful to them through creativity.
We aim to ensure everyone we work with is given a platform to be well and truly heard in the wider community. We join up different parts of a community who would not otherwise meet. We hope this leads to greater understanding, empathy and continued engagement between people or groups who may otherwise walk past each other on the street or assume they have nothing in common. We challenge the labels society puts on us as mass groups (the vulnerable, the elderly, NEETs, the hard-to-reach, young offenders, the terminally ill to name a few) to share individual stories of the humans who have these labels and accompanying narratives put upon them. We share real stories told by human beings.
We give people space and support to engage with their own creativity, imaginations and words and share the results with others. Words and images that enable them to share what’s important or helpful to them, connect with others, build imaginary worlds and explore new pathways.
We run stand-alone workshops as well as programmes of work in single or linked settings. It's important for our work that it is artist-led, as we believe that arts and creativity can be a liberating and enriching experience for everyone. We work with writers, poets, visual artists, designers and theatre practitioners who share, not just their work, but aspects of themselves and their lives to inspire others to do the same. We draw out what we have in common and highlight positive human connections.
We're based in Hinchley Wood and most of our work takes places in our local area across North Surrey and the London Boroughs of Kingston-upon-Thames and Hounslow. We're focused on building sustainable local partnerships that enable us to help our community develop its creativity and come together.
At a time when human beings are tweeting, refreshing, scrolling, uploading and searching for connection and engagement through digital devices more than ever before, we celebrate the power of the handwritten word to truly connect people in meaningful and positive ways.
Whatever we’re searching for on our devices (connection, acceptance, attention?) we don’t always find it. Some words, a letter, an artwork or a small act of kindness can sometimes be a much better way to understand others and connect with them.
Why are we called It's Not Your Birthday But...? Why wait for birthdays to communicate by post and let people know what they mean to you? An unexpected letter, card or painting sent on a normal day can mean so much more.
Drawings by Erika Flowers
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As we’re all about letters, the best way to get our attention is to jot us a line and pop it in a postbox to
It's Not Your Birthday But...
The Old Bank House
26 Station Approach
Surrey KT10 0SR
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