Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Click on the Fingerprint icon below to learn more about the research topics, expertise and interests of this academic.

Calculated based on number of publications stored in Pure and citations from Scopus

Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research Degree Supervision

If you are interested in studying for a PhD in this research subject area click here

For more details about the research topics, expertise and interests of this academic, click on the fingerprint icon

Google Scholar h-Index

3 from 22 citations 

Last updated 18th April 2024


Claire Barber joined the University of Huddersfield in 2009 to support students specialising in a range of textile art and craft subjects.

Since graduating from Fine Art (Tapestry) at the Royal College of Art in 1994, Claire has exhibited widely completing over twenty artist-in residency and commissioning models in the UK and across Europe, Australia, Mexico and Japan and is a member of the prestigious 62 Group.

The investigation of cultural traditions and vocabularies for textiles is a fundamental component of the creative practice using site-responsive methods of research. Creating in diverse forms including installation, photography, social engagement, collage and inflatable sculpture the artwork is not limited to a production using textile materials alone. It is Claire's perception of textiles, and weave in particular, that directs how ideas are put together as an integral approach to an enquiry combining elements of industrial and historical studies and clothing design. This is demonstrated in a large-scale commission for Hull City of Culture 2017 presented at Hull Paragon Station called The Train Track and the Basket (2017) which commemorates the historical route of transmigration from Eastern Europe to America, and the woven baskets carried by migrants passing through Hull. Woven textiles enabled her to think about patterns of motion overlaid with one another each time someone enters or exits the station building.

Claire often seeks out ways of creating new work with others, exemplified by co-produced research with sound artist Gavin Osborn. Her first experience of Osborn’s work was at the exhibition they both participated in called Unravelled Wetlands presented at the London Wetland Centre in 2021 and since then they have been testing the versatility of sound and embroidery to inspire an intricate interplay between graphic form and tactile language of embroidery with the acoustic structures of sound-based work. A further collaboration continues during her appointment as artist in residence with Patricia Mackinnon Day to develop initial proposals for interventions as part of the future developments planned for Barlby Road, Selby. Events and happenings as part of their community engagement activities included a participatory dance re-enactment on Selby Park called The Last Dance (16 July 2022). They are currently working with development teams to realise their proposals for the new construction and development projects planned for Barlby Road.

Claire has demonstrated an ongoing eagerness in developing work in community and participatory settings. Since 2009 she has been involved in a series of Bradford-based projects with the curator and writer June Hill, notably The Sleeping Bag Project (2009-2013) a humanitarian venture that brought new significance to discarded sleeping bags remaining after a music festival in Leeds. In 2019 Blue Plaques of Intangible Experiences used cloth to carry experiences of communities in Bradford. Bradford has been described as the archetypal post-industrial city. Tensions exist between different communities within this location; as counterpoint the engagement has drawn out the positives of living in a diverse community and individual perceptions of neighbourliness. Subsequently Claire and June curated the international exhibition Humanitarian Handicrafts (2019) outside the Holocaust Centre North on the University of Huddersfield campus which showed powerful statements of creative resilience that embraced both the difficulties and joys of crafting in different places all over the world. They are currently contributing to the book Histories of Humanitarian Handcraft: Textiles, Aid and Development soon to be published by Manchester University Press (2023).

Claire’s exposure to community contexts has led to a number of journal articles, papers, books and conference organisation. For example, the book co-edited with Penny Macbeth Outside: Activating Cloth to Enhance the Way We Live (CSP 2014), explores the complex and multifaceted relationship humans have with cloth, and examines the constantly evolving fields of expression outside traditional gallery, institutional or campus settings. 

In 2016 Claire Barber received the degree of Doctor of Philosophy by Publication in recognition of a programme of work entitled Cloth in Action: The Transformative Power of Cloth in Communities.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Research Expertise and Interests

  • Textile Thinking
  • Archival Research
  • Site-specific Art
  • Art in the Public Realm
  • Humanitarian Art and Craft-based Practices
  • Textile Heritage
  • Stitch-based Activism
  • Participatory Art
  • Socially Engaged Textiles
  • Narratives of Transmigration
  • Textiles, Place and Identity
  • Crafting communities
  • Textiles, place and identity
  • Archival research for the contemporary practitioner


Dive into the research topics where Claire Barber is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
  • 1 Similar Profiles

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or