‘A Message of Protest’ is a publication that displays a collection of protest signs made by art students in lockdown across the U.K.

Collated and designed by Ruby Betts and Ellis Tree, two students Kingston School of Art. Studio based learners from Falmouth all the way to Glasgow responded to their Instagram call out for handmade protest messages against an ‘online’ art school education. In collaboration with Pause or Pay, a national student-led campaign, this protest in print was produced and sent to Michelle Donelan MP (Minister of State for Universities) whilst working in strict lockdown with no access to studios, workshops or materials. This publication acts as a visual reflection of the impact our governments Covid-19 response has had on our collective arts education.

  • We felt, and still do feel, as studio based learners, that online art school cannot provide a sufficient arts-based education.
  • The book was made entirely with materials that we had at our disposal: the university’s academic library paper and printer, an envelope, some thread and a first class stamp. This was due to the lack of materials we had access to at the time – forced to continue our design course in strict lockdown.
  • Through this project, we have felt that it’s provided a sense of community amongst art students in the UK, and provided a space to express their frustrations about the loss of our studio-based education.


* Ellis Tree

* Ruby Betts