Dr Simon Clarke

Job title
Senior Lecturer
01326 370493 Ext: 1493

Dr Simon Clarke is a senior lecturer with undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in the field of printed textile design and surface pattern.

His PhD from Birmingham City University involved research into the East African Kanga cloth. This research was driven by fieldwork in Kenya, Tanzania and on Zanzibar, which was supported by a grant from the British Institute in Eastern Africa. His professional practice and research  span printed textiles, photography, painting, visual anthropology and African arts.

He has presented papers on African art at conference venues around the world, including the Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford, the Fowler Museum, UCLA, the University of KwaZulu-Natal and the University of Florida. His work has been exhibited internationally, including the Prato Textile Museum, Italy, and featured in publications such as Techno Textiles, Braddock and O'Mahony (Thames & Hudson), and Digital Visions for Fashion and Textiles, Clarke and Harris (Thames & Hudson). He has contributed towards international publications and in 2011 completed a book titled Textile Design with Laurence King Publishing with whom he also published in 2014 Print: Fashion, Interiors, Art. Current practice and research is drawn in large part from three fieldwork visits to South Africa where he has been involved in research for a new book. This has enabled him to access unique archive material from the University of Cape Town and the University of Johannesburg.

Simon Clarke has lectured at a number of institutes at undergraduate and postgraduate levels such as Goldsmiths, University of London, Kenyatta University, California College of the Arts and Savannah College of Art and Design. He has been an external examiner on BA (Hons) and MA art and design degree courses as well as examined at PhD level in relation to his expertise in African Arts. He is also currently a director of studies for two PhDs and external co-supervisor for another.



YearQualificationAwarding body
PhD (Motif, Pattern, Colour and Text in Contemporary Kanga Cloth: An Analysis and Personal Response)
Birmingham City University
MA Textiles (Print)
Birmingham City University
BA (Hons) Printed Textiles and Decorative Surfaces
Middlesex University

Membership of external committees

Member of the Arts Council of the African Studies Association

Research interests

Research topics

Printed Textiles
Visual Anthropology
African Art

Research outputs

Publications and research outputs

Book Chapter

Clarke, Simon (2013) Untitled (2009). In: Textile Design. Thames & Hudson Ltd, London. ISBN 978-1856696876 Item not available from this repository.

Clarke, Simon (2006) The politics of pattern: The interpretation of political and national iconography on kanga cloth. In: East African Contours: Reviewing Creativity and Visual Culture. Horniman Museum Press, UK, pp. 85-97. ISBN 1903338026 Item not available from this repository.

Conference or Workshop Item

Clarke, Simon (2011) Vernacular, Transitional and Modern Architecture in East Africa. In: Tatu, East African Visual Traditions, Pitt Rivers Museum (Oxford University)/Fowler Museum (University of California, Los Angeles). Item not available from this repository.


Clarke, Simon (2014) Print: Fashion, Interiors, Art Simon Clarke. Laurence King Publishing, London. ISBN 978-1-78067-167-3

Clarke, Simon (2011) Textile Design. Laurence King, London. ISBN 978-1856696876 Item not available from this repository.


Clarke, S (2009) 'Colour Structure 1'/'Repeat Structure 2'. [Artwork] Item not available from this repository.

Externally funded research grants information

Year startingYear endingProject titleFunderValueCollaboratorsHESA Category
Fieldwork into Kanga design on the Swahili Coast
Research award from the British Institute in Eastern Africa with match funding from University College Falmouth with subsidised flights provided by British Airways
Fieldwork into Kanga design on the Swahili Coast
Research award from the University of Northampton with subsidised flights by British Airways
Fieldwork into Kanga design on the Swahili Coast and Kenyan Highlands
Research award from the University of Northampton

Research students

Current research students

Paul Reynolds; A Practice Based Inquiry into a Taxonomy and Ontology of Holes in Devore Lace - Falmouth University
Simon Andrews; Falls in the elderly: Designing human-centred hip protection for older people - Falmouth University
Becky Gooby; The development of methodologies for digital colour printing in textile design, through an understanding of interwar historical colour palettes - University of West England

Research degrees examined

I have examined one PhD student in the field of African Art from Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton

Number of research degree examinations: 1


Areas of teaching

Printed Textiles
Textile Design

Courses taught

BA(Hons) Textile Design

Professional engagement