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Strange Times or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Pandemic


Written by
Rachel Ara
Published date
21 January 2021

“2020 was the year that didn’t go to plan. “Plan” is a bit of an oxymoron for an independent artist as you tend to have limited control over your entire circumstance - but I do try and follow a vague trajectory.”

Rachel Ara is a conceptual and data artist. Best known for her sculpture and installation art, she has had an eclectic career which strongly influences her work today.

After 25 years of working in the tech industry, much of Ara’s work draws on data, deconstructing common myths and addressing the imbalances of the male-dominated industry. Her work often uses humour as a starting point for bigger discussions about sex, gender, technology and systems of power.

In this highly relatable and personal blog, Rachel reflects on what has been a strange and challenging year for artists. “This blog is really about adaptability” she writes, taking us on a journey through her creative ventures in 2020.

“As creatives we’re having to adapt our practice to fit into this strange new world - whatever that will be. I realise it’s something I’ve been doing all my life.”

Read Rachel’s full blog (Word Doc 4.8MB) to discover more about her accidental lockdown in Jersey, how she came to create a hand riveted space dissent module, her sarcastic response to the “Cumming’s fiasco” and more.


Rachel will be joining us live for an Inspire Keynote session on 26 Feb at 2pm. This session is part of our Teach Inspire Create annual programme of digital events and will be held on Zoom. Booking in advance is highly recommended.

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