Claire Barber

Claire Barber


Claire Barber is an artist and senior lecturer at the University of Huddersfield undertaking practice-based research in the Department of Fashion and Textiles. The investigation of cultural traditions and vocabularies for textiles is a fundamental component of her creative practice with an interest in the interconnection between place and the way people are connected to their surrounding environment. 

Her work often creates a conceptual approach to textiles, with wide ranging results ranging from detailed, interactive artworks to large scale architectural interventions. Making in diverse forms the artwork is not limited to a production using textile materials. Rather, it is her 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 and sound-based studies.

Since graduating with an MA in Tapestry from the Royal College of Art in 1994, Claire has exhibited widely, pursuing over twenty commissions and residencies, often working with community-led projects, in the UK and across Eastern Europe, Australia and Japan. Recent exhibitions include The Train Track and the Basket, an immersive installation for Hull City of Culture UK (2017), Blue Plaques of Intangible Experiences (2019) which used cloth to carry experiences of communities in Bradford ( and Spinning Wheel, Hedges and Muffins in Repeat (2019) created while Artist-in-Residence at Bolton Museums as part of the ArtivistGM programme. Currently A stich to every sound (2021) investigates subjective experiences and perceptions of sound specific to different spaces and places including the London Wetland Centre as part of the Unravelled Wetland’s series of commissions led by Polly Harknett and Caitlin Heffernan ( The London Wetland Centre also serves as a place to engage others to become active listeners, fully immersed in the moment during an improvised action of stitchery. 

Claire’s interests extend to writing. She is co-editor of Mining Couture: A Manifesto for Common Wear (Black Dog Publishing, 2012), Outside: Activating Cloth to Enhance the Way We Live (CSP, 2014) and recently contributed a contextual text with Lois Blackburn on collaborative textile practices for the Insights book publication (The Textile Study Group, 2021). In 2016 she earned her Ph.D. from University of Huddersfield for a programme of work entitled Cloth in Action: The Transformative Power of Cloth in Communities.

SPINNING WHEELS , HEDGES AND MUFFINS IN REPEAT | 2019, 285gsm paper, digital print, 50 x 50 cm
THE TRAIN TRACK AND THE BASKET | 2017, digitally printed vinyl, site-specific installation, dimensions variable | Photo: Patrick Mateer
THE TRAIN TRACK AND THE BASKET | 2017, digitally printed vinyl, site-specific installation, dimensions variable. | Photo credit: Patrick Mateer.
THE TRAIN TACK AND THE BASKET |2017, digitally printed vinyl, site-specific installation, dimensions variable |Photo: Alamy.


West Yorkshire


Workshops: Yes
Talks: Yes 
Commissions: Yes