A sixth former turned her Oxford rejection letter into art

‘Sorry not to have better news’


After being rejected from Wadham College, Oxford, an A-level student decided to turn her disappointment into artwork.

18-year-old Claudia Vulliamy, who has been offered a place at Durham to study Classics, was praised for her creativity after her mum’s tweet, featuring a picture of the painting, went viral.

The rejection letter, post transformation

Claudia told The Tab: “The letter is pretty much summarised in the phrases stuck into the painting: delivering the news, apologising, wishing me well.

“It always feels a bit hurtful to be rejected, but I know how high the competition is – I’m mostly just delighted to have an offer from Durham and other universities.

The 18-year-old, who is studying Art, Latin and Philosophy for her A-levels, said: “I’ve always loved doing art, but I’ve got really into portrait painting in the last few years. I don’t normally do abstract pieces, but this time I felt inspired.

A lot of people are saying Oxford should now take me on an art course but that’s not really how it works, but I appreciate the sentiment! Honestly, I think Durham is the place I really love, so if I achieve the grades I will go there.

She created the painting very quickly, explaining, “I suppose some of my feelings about the letter went into the artwork. Obviously I didn’t know it would go viral as I painted it for myself – but I think the message that it’s associated with now is that Oxbridge doesn’t determine your worth as a person, and I love that.”

You can see more of Claudia’s art on her instagram at flamboyant_aesthete.