Senior Lecturer

Dr Clarke has undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in printed textiles. His Doctor of Philosophy titled: Motif, Pattern, Colour and Text in Contemporary Kanga Cloth: An Analysis and Personal Response, Birmingham City University involved anthropological research and creative practice driven by fieldwork in Kenya, Tanzania and on Zanzibar. This was supported by a grant from the British Institute in Eastern Africa. His ongoing research and creative practice is inter, multi and trans-disciplinary and can be situated in relation to printed textiles, photography, digital and African arts.

Dr Clarke has presented papers on African art at conference venues that include Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford; Fowler Museum, University of California Los Angeles, University of KwaZulu-Natal and University of Florida. His work has been exhibited internationally for example in the innovative Artists at Work, New Technology in Textile and Fibre Art, Museo Del Tessuto, Prato, Italy, His digital art pieces have been showcased in seminal publications such as Techno Textiles, Braddock and O'Mahony (Thames & Hudson), Techno Textiles 2, Braddock Clarke and O’Mahony and in Digital Visions for Fashion and Textiles, Braddock Clarke and Harris (Thames & Hudson). 

Dr Clarke has contributed towards international publications for example East African Contours, Reviewing Creativity and Visual Culture, Hasan Arero and Zachary Kingdon, (The Horniman Museum). His first book Textile Design (Laurence King), 2011 is now a recognised text for textile students. His second book Print: Fashion, Interiors, Art (Laurence King), 2014 is a series of case studies that reveal some of the most innovative print works in art and design. His third book project South African Photography has involved four fieldwork trips to South Africa between 2016 and 2019 and includes interviews and correspondence with iconic photographers such as the late David Goldblatt, Peter Magubane and Omar Badsha. It also enabled access to significant archival material at the National Library of South Africa, South African National Gallery, University of Cape Town, University of Johannesburg and University of Western Cape. 

Dr Clarke has lectured at a number of institutes 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 at undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral research levels. He is currently a director of studies for three doctoral research students.

External Links

Contact details

Telephone 01326 370493



Year Qualification Awarding body
2006 PhD (Motif, Pattern, Colour and Text in Contemporary Kanga Cloth: An Analysis and Personal Response) Birmingham City University
1987 MA Textiles (Print) Birmingham City University
1986 BA(Hons) Printed Textiles and Decorative Surfaces Middlesex University
1983 Art Foundation Diploma Falmouth College of Art and Design

Research Interests

Research Topics

  • African Art
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Printed Textiles
  • Visual Anthropology

Research Outputs

Publications and research outputs

  • Clarke, Simon

    (2014), Print: Fashion, Interiors, Art, Laurence King Publishing, London, ISBN: 978-1-78067-167-3, Item availability may be restricted.
  • Clarke, Simon

    (2011), Textile Design, Laurence King, London, ISBN: 978-1856696876
  • Clarke, Simon

    (2013), Untitled (2009), In: Textile Design, Thames & Hudson Ltd, London, ISBN: 978-1856696876
  • 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
  • Clarke, Simon

    (2011), Vernacular, Transitional and Modern Architecture in East Africa, Pitt Rivers Museum (Oxford University)/Fowler Museum (University of California, Los Angeles)
  • Clarke, S

    (2009), 'Colour Structure 1'/'Repeat Structure 2', Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti, Milan

Externally funded research grants information

Collaborators Currency Funder HESA Category Project title Value Year ending Year starting
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 2002
Research award from the University of Northampton with subsidised flights by British Airways Fieldwork into Kanga design on the Swahili Coast 2000
Research award from the University of Northampton Fieldwork into Kanga design on the Swahili Coast and Kenyan Highlands 1999

Research Students

Current research students

Paul Reynolds, A Practice-Based Inquiry into an Ontology and Taxonomy of Holes in Devore Lace, 2020, (Director of Studies)

Becky Gooby, Crafting Colour: The Development of Methodologies for Digital Colour Printing in Textile Design. Department of Fine Print Research, University of West England, 2022, (External Supervisor)

Simon Andrews, Innovation in hip-protector design: Challenging function, meaning and context, Falmouth University. (Director of Studies)

Su Vernon, Design and Tactile Cognition: The Role of Design and Haptic Perception in Supporting Well-Being, Falmouth University, (Director of Studies)

Sajjad Hossain, Employee Voice in Bangladeshi Ready-Made Garment Manufacturing: A Comparative Study of Unionised versus Non-Unionised Work Places, (Director of Studies)


Research degrees examined

Richard Acquaye: Exploring Indigenous West African Fabric Design in the context of Contemporary Global Commercial Production, Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton, 2018.

Christina Cie: Pattern as relationships: Breaking through established paradigms in textile print design through digital printing. Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, 2021.

Number of research degree examinations



Areas of teaching

  • Printed Textiles
  • Textile Design
  • Textiles

Courses taught

  • BA(Hons) Textile Design

Professional Engagement

Engagement with professional associations and societies

Member of the Arts Council of the African Studies Association

Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute

External Examining

  • 2011- 2014 BA(Hons) Textiles: Design and Innovation, School of Art, Loughborough University
  • 2013-2017 MA Fashion, MA Textile Design, MA Fashion Accessories and MA Surface Design, Birmingham Institute of Art and Design, Birmingham City University


Professional esteem indicators

Year Description

Saatchi online Gallery Artist