Portrait of Dr Claire Barber Dr Claire Barber

View research degree topics that Dr Claire Barber might supervise

c.l.barber@hud.ac.uk | 01484 472061



Biography

Claire Barber joined the University of Huddersfield in 2009 and is currently Senior Lecturer in Textile Practice to support students specializing 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 pursued a peripatetic career exhibiting widely and completing over twenty artist-in residency and commissioning models in the UK and across Eastern Europe, Australia and Japan. The practice, which has been broad ranging, has included temporary installations, interactive and socially engaged works as well as sculptural and architectural interventions. The nature of site for Claire is far reaching and could be contained in the physical division within a community which marks the arrival of a new road, a space within the core of 1000 apples, a holy site of 20,000 saints, a temporary office dropped into a museum, the front of a transport ticket, a gold mining ghost town, an abandoned sleeping bag left at the end of a music festival or a glove making factory in a small village in Somerset.

Between 2010 and 2012, Claire worked with colleague Steve Swindells, at the former Snibston Discovery Museum, which led to the publication Mining Couture, published by Black Dog, 2012. This commission provided Claire with the opportunity to deepen her investigation into the relationship between fashion and mining that she had previously explored at gold mining ghost towns in western Australia while Visual Arts Fellow at Edith Cowan University, Australia (1998-99). Claire’s most recent textile-related artworks have been presented at ‘Repetition Variation’ exhibition curated by Joanna Bryant and Julian Page and presented at Frameless Gallery, London (2015);  ‘Da Vinci Engineered: From Renaissance mechanics to contemporary art’ exhibition curated by Lara Goodband and presented at  Zebedees Yard, Hull (2016) and ‘Contextile2016 Contemporary Textile Art Biennial’, Guimarães, Portugal. A further installation You Are the Journey (an embroidered intervention) forms part of the ‘Migrations’ exhibition curated by Jessica Hemmings and presented at Huddersfield Art Gallery (2016). Claire is currently involved in a major installation as part of Hull 2017 City of Culture series of public art commissions called ‘Look Up’. Other featured artists include: Nayan Kulkarni, Bob and Roberta Smith, Michael Pinsky, Tania Kovats, Sarah Daniels and Claire Morgan.

Claire’s exposure to textile impacts on her approach to her practice as much as community contexts. This is exemplified in her research with the writer and academic Penny Macbeth(Manchester Metropolitan University), who have contributed to a number of journals, papers, books and conferences some of which they have co-convened and co-edited themselves. For example, in response to emerging debates concerning the value, relevance and impact of cloth on societies they jointly organised an international conference ‘Outside: Activating Cloth to Enhance the Way We Live’, University of Huddersfield (2012) which led to the book of the same name published by Cambridge Scholars (2014). The book explored the complex and multifaceted relationship humans have with cloth, and examined the constantly evolving fields of expression outside traditional gallery, institutional or campus settings. They are currently engaged in research towards a co-curated exhibition, with support of The Textile Society, Collaborative Ventures Funding (University of Huddersfield) and their curatorial mentor June Hill.

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. 

Research and Scholarship

I am currently working on four areas of practice-led research involving textiles and art, crafting communities, public transport and site-specificity as I shall explain below.

Textiles and art comprises a critical engagement with a wide range of practices that draw on the daily conditions and associations of textiles as a communicator of ideas about the social, political and artistic. Traditionally an undervalued medium, textiles innate elasticity and ability to move flexibly into a range of interdisciplinary discourses has been increasingly relevant within my creative practice.

My investigation into crafting communities involves the transformative potential of art and craft in facing contemporary social concerns and as a catalyst for community cohesion with ability to achieve new definitions of value and community. The research process has comprised community-led models of collaboration, social engagement, crafting and volunteering within the realms of education, curatorial practice and relational art.

Rethinking my creative practice in relation to public transport has inspired me to consider the transient interconnection with others encountered during travel on public transport systems to achieve unexpected and meaningful connections within the functionality of a journey. Working partners in this research area include small-scale transport businesses, community rail networks as well as public art commissioning bodies.  

Site-specificity is a methodology that leads my research into public and private spaces through a consideration of spatial, aesthetic, historic, geographic and conceptual concerns. This informs interventionist approaches to site-specificity with the ability to insert creativity into the context of social, economic and environmental challenges, such as the consideration of community voice during periods of road building, the creativity and regeneration of Britain’s towns and cities and artist-in-residencies engaging with rural communities.

Publications and Other Research Outputs

2017

Barber, C (2017) ‘The Transmigration Project’. In: 3rd International Congress of Visual Culture, 22nd - 23rd May 2017, Universitat Abat Oliba CEU, Barcelona, Spain

Barber, C (2017) The Train Track and the Basket [Show/Exhibition]

2016

Barber, C (2016) You Are the Journey (an embroidered intervention) [Show/Exhibition]

Barber, C (2016) ‘The Art of Engineering: Ventilation Dress II’. In: The Art of Engineering: Engineering Professors' Council: Congress 2016, 6th September 2016, Hull, UK

Barber, C (2016) You Are the Journey (an embroidered intervention) [Show/Exhibition]

Barber, C (2016) Ventilation Dress II [Show/Exhibition]

Barber, C (2016) ‘Crafting the CommunityJournal of Applied Research in Higher Education , 8 (1), pp. 59-71. ISSN 2050-7003

2015

Barber, C (2015) Cloth in Action: The Transformative Power of Cloth in Communites Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

Barber, C. and Macbeth, P. (2015) ‘Craft in Unexpected Places’. In: Transition:Rethinking Textiles and Surfaces, 26th November 2014 - 27th November 2014, University of Huddersfield, UK

Bailey, R. and Barber, C. (2015) ‘The Sleeping Bag LandscapeC+de , 7. ISSN 1837-445X

Barber, C (2015) ‘Vanishing Textile Industries’. In: The Guild Exhibition, 6th October 2015, The University of Leeds

Barber, C (2015) You Are the Journey (an embroidered intervention) [Show/Exhibition]

Barber, C. and Macbeth, P. (2015) ‘Craft in unexpected placesCraft Research , 6 (2), pp. 275-285. ISSN 2040-4689

Hill, J. and Barber, C.(2015) Art in Your Heart [Show/Exhibition]

Barber, C (2015) You Are the Journey 2015 at One Church Street Gallery [Show/Exhibition]

Barber, C (2015) ‘Crafting the Community III’. In: , 2015 International Higher Education Teaching and Learning Conference: Reaching the Summit: Explorations in Meaningful Learning through Community Engagement, 20th January 2015 - 22nd January 2015, Utah Valley University, USA

2014

Barber, C (2014) ‘Air presented at The Textile Society 32nd Annual Conference 'Textiles, Communication and Politics'’. In: Textiles, Communication and Politics, 7th November 2014 - 9th November 2014, Welcome Trust, London

Barber, C (2014) ‘Weaving Technologies in the Construction of a Ferry TicketRadar , 1 (4), pp. 36-37. ISSN 2049-4327

Barber, C (2014) ‘'One to Twenty' at Make, Create, Cultivate symposium’. In: Make, Create and Cultivate, 12th July 2014, Somerset College, UK

Barber, C (2014) Outside: Activating Cloth to Enhance the Way We Live . Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars. ISBN 978-1-4438-5695-9

Macbeth, P. and Barber, C. (2014) Outside: Activating Cloth to Enhance the Way We Live . Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars. ISBN 978-1-4438-5695-9

Hill, J. and Barber, C.(2014) Art in Your Heart [Show/Exhibition]

Barber, C. and Taylor, M. (2014) ‘Outside Intervention and the External Studio’. In: GLAD Group Learning for Art and Design - The Studio: Where do we learn? Where do we teach?, 27 February 2014, Sheffield Hallam University, UK

Barber, C (2014) ‘Crafting the Community III’. In: Teaching and Learning Conference: The Challenges Ahead 2014, 15 January 2014, University of Huddersfield

2013

Bailey, R. and Barber, C. (2013) ‘The Sleeping Bag Project’. In: The Subversive Stitch Revisited, 29th November 2013, Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Barber, C (2013) PinPoint 13: Contemporary Miniature Textile Works [Show/Exhibition]

Bailey, R., Perren, N. and Barber, C. (2013) ‘Archival Interventions’. In: HEA - Storyville, 29th - 30th May 2013, Brighton

2012

Barber, C (2012) The Sleeping Bag Project [Show/Exhibition]

Barber, C. and Swindells, S. (2012) Mining Couture: A Manifesto for Common Wear . London: Black Dog. ISBN 978 1 907317 92 7

Barber, C. and Swindells, S.(2012) Mining Couture (ROTOR) [Show/Exhibition]

Barber, C. and Swindells, S.(2012) One to Twenty: Public Engagement Projects [Show/Exhibition]

Cook, L. and Barber, C. (2012) ‘Exudate: Understand it, assess it, manage it!Nursing & Residential Care , 14 (5), pp. 234-238. ISSN 1465-9301

Barber, C. and Swindells, S. (2012) Mining Couture commission [Artefact]

2011

Barber, C. and Swindells, S. (2011) ‘Beyond Charity’. In: VI 'World Textile Art' International Biennial of Contemporary Textile Art: Considerations between textiles and society: a recapitulation, 16th - 19th May 2011, Universidad Veracruzana, Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico

Barber, C. and Swindells, S. (2011) WOW [Performance] In: VI World Textile Art International Biennale of Contemporary Textile Art, 16-31 May 2011, The Diego Rivera Anahuacalli Museum, Mexico City (Submitted)

Barber, C. and Swindells, S. (2011) Folk Art [Artefact]

Barber, C (2011) The Hunt [Show/Exhibition]

Swindells, S. and Barber, C. (2011) ‘More Than Charity: Textiles in Daily Life’. In: Making Futures II, September 15th – 16th, 2011, Plymouth College of Art and Design

2010

Barber, C (2010) ‘Resident social journeyRadar , 1 (1), pp. 8-9. ISSN 2049-4327

Barber, C. and Webb, R. (2010) Littlemoor Wishes: Publication . Huddersfield: University of Huddersfield. ISBN 978-1-86218-082-6

2009

Barber, C (2009) You Are the Journey: North Staffordshire [Show/Exhibition]

Barber, C (2009) Littlemoor Wishes [Show/Exhibition]

Abdulla, B. and Barber, C. (2009) You Are the Journey: Documentary Video [Video]

Barber, C (2009) ‘You Are the Journey: Public Art in Your Pocket -Essay’. In: Winchester School of Art Research Anthology. England: Winchester Gallery Press. pp. 66-67. ISBN 9781873451618

Barber, C. and Webb, R.(2009) You Are the Journey [Show/Exhibition]

2008

Barber, C (2008) Stepping Lightly on 88 Pillows [Show/Exhibition]

Esteem

  • Member of The Board of Directors, International Fiber Collaborative, USA since 2011.
  • International Conference Co-Convenor for ‘Outside: Activating Cloth to Enhance the Way We Live’ – University of Huddersfield 2012
  • Shortlist for the Times Education Awards (THE) for Outstanding Contribution to the Local Community in 2011.

 

Research Degree Supervision

Textiles and art

This research area comprises a critical engagement with a wide range of practices that draw on the daily conditions and associations of textiles as a communicator of ideas about the social, political and artistic. Traditionally an undervalued medium, textiles innate elasticity and ability to move flexibly into a range of interdisciplinary discourses are increasingly relevant and thought provoking within the contemporary world.

Crafting communities

The investigation involves the transformative potential of art and craft in facing contemporary social concerns and as a catalyst for community cohesion with ability to achieve new definitions of value and community through the depth of the research. The research process can comprise community-led models of collaboration, social engagement, crafting and volunteering within the realms of education, curatorial practice and relational art.

Rethinking creative practice in relation to public transport

A research area that considers the transient interconnection with others encountered during travel on public transport systems to achieve unexpected and meaningful connections with the functionality of a journey. Working partners in this research area include small-scale transport businesses, community rail networks as well as public art commissioning bodies.

Site-specificity

A methodology that is led by new research, insights and discoveries into our public and private spaces through a consideration of spatial, aesthetic, historic, geographic and conceptual concerns. This will inform interventionist practice-based approaches to site-specificity and the ability to insert creativity into the context of social, economic and environmental challenges, such as the consideration of community voice during periods of road building, the creativity and regeneration of Britain’s towns and cities and residencies engaging with rural communities.

Postgraduate research opportunities with Dr Claire Barber

2017-18

MA
PhD

2018-19

MA
PhD

Teaching and Professional Activities

I currently teach students on the Textile Practice BA/Bsc undergraduate course, for which I am year 2 tutor. My responsibility’s include the coordination of Embroidery specialism and Contemporary Practitioner context. I also contribute, through my delivery of lectures, tutorials and assessment, to the Theoretical and Ethical, Professional Practice and Material based modules. Recently I have been involved in Mres and PhD supervision.

Barber, C (2016) ‘Crafting the Community’ Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education , 8 (1), pp. 59-71. ISSN 2050-7003

Barber, C. & Bailey, R. (2015). The sleeping bag landscape. Craft and Design Enquiry (7) 49-69. Published by Intellect.

Barber, C. and Taylor, M. (2014) ‘Outside Intervention and the External Studio’. In: GLAD Group Learning for Art and Design - The Studio: Where do we learn? Where do we teach?, 27 February 2014, Sheffield Hallam University, UK

Bailey, R. and Barber, C. (2013) ‘The Sleeping Bag Project’. In: The Subversive Stitch Revisited, 29th November 2013, Victoria and Albert Museum, London

In 2011 ‘The Sleeping Bag Project’ was shortlisted for a Times Higher Education Award for Outstanding Contribution to the local Community.