Ashlyn Poole

Protest Art

COVID-19 Statement Mask

Four early versions of my mask statement. The top-left says 'I don't even know if this mask works.' The bottom-left says 'Keep away, this is your problem,' but the letter Y in 'your' is thin, so it can read 'our' from a distance. The top-right quotes Preident Trump, saying 'I like the sound of a couple months better, if I must be honest.' The bottom-right says 'This mask is also 'pretty close to airtight,'' referencing Larry Kudlow's ignorant statement early into the pandemic..

Created as part of a workshop with Zipeng Zhu, who I met in-person a single day before my college announced full evacuation due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I was asked to create a social media graphic that communicated something to the public about my feelings around these events, similar to a shirt or other apparel item. My first drafts were politically charged, as the anxiety for the upcoming lockdown was beginning to stir in my mind. Zipeng encouraged me to avoid directly politicized lines in my thinking.

A white facemask, placed on a stark yellow backdrop. There is very small text on the front of the mask, which is illegible from a distance. When you get close enough to read it, you can read it, and it says 'If you can read this, you're too close.'

The final design was inspired by a trip to the grocery store, where an obnoxious asshole was very intentionally following me around the store and breathing in my face as I tried to safely buy groceries for my immunocompromised brother. Using my anger around the entire situation, I designed this sort of semi-functional protest piece—a mask that appears totally normal unless you're actively and knowingly breaking the social distancing guidelines of the early pandemic. I intentionally picked a standard weight font to avoid accidentally catching the interest of somebody who was properly standing six feet away.

The final image was featured on Zipeng Zhu's Instagram Page, and has over 2,100 likes.

This is a collage of three stock images: the top left shows a pair of hands using hand sanitizer on a stark white background, while the bottom left shows a single hand ascending with a glove on a stark red background. The right side (which is as tall as the other two combined) features a pair of hands balancing a large stack of toilet paper, on which the text 'Sharing is caring' is printed. This final image is set on a sky blue background.