School of the Arts, English and Drama

Postgraduate research

Emma Osbourn

Photo of  Emma Osbourn

PhD Student

After graduating from a BA (Hons) Degree in Printed Textiles from UCA Farnham, Emma’s work experiences have included extensive teaching of Art and Design and as well as working in the Film Industry. She taught art at HMP Morton Hall, a women’s prison and was a technician at Lincoln University, teaching printmaking. She has also worked as a community artist, both in the UK and Canada. In 2010 she graduated with an MA in Fine Art (Distinction) from the University of Lincoln.

She combines traditional textile techniques with video, cine film, photographic processes, and slides, creating hybrid forms. Her practice as a visual artist explores the spaces between materials and process, evoking a sense of the strange or the familiar-made-strange.

She has presented at conferences in the UK and the US. Her work has been shown in galleries and Film Festivals locally, nationally and internationally. Last year she presented at The Textile Society of America’s Biennial Symposium Textiles and Politics, and presented a video piece at Theoretical Currents II: Architecture and its Geographical Horizons, University of Lincoln. Next year she will be showing work in the 2014 Festival OF (IN) Appropriation, Los Angeles Filmforum.  

In April 2013 she was awarded a fully funded research studentship from the School of Arts, Loughborough University, undertaking research towards a PhD. She expects to complete in 2016.

Thesis Title:

To what extent can digital space be made more knowable by visual/aural/tactile means using textile-based processes? How can meaning change through material knowing?


Emma’s practice-based research is concerned with the intrinsic qualities of the processes and materials she uses. The work explores the interaction of historical and contemporary meanings of objects and processes. Her research concerns also encompass an exploration of codes within textiles and textile processes, as well as the nature of those processes.

Current research is centred on the dualities, relationships and inter-relationships between analogue and digital processes. The work aims to build a tension between the form and the content, material and message. So that it simultaneously reveals meanings of objects and explores materiality and process, producing self-referential works with inherent narrative and poetic potential. Using these techniques the research will explore digital space, using textiles and or textile processes as medium and mediator.

Dr Marion Arnold and Dr Faith Kane

Featured Publications:

Osbourn, E., (2012) The Land That Forgot Time, Conference Paper - Theoretical Currents II: Architecture and its Geographical Horizons, University of Lincoln, UK

Available at:
http://visit.lincoln.ac.uk/C18/C9/CDL/Document%20Library/Theoretical%20Currents%20II%20-%20Full%20Paper%20-%20Emma%20Osbourn.pdf

Osbourn, E., (2012) The Political Handkerchief, Conference paper at Textiles and Politics, the Textile Society of America 13th Biennial Symposium Washington DC, USA. Available at http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1721&context=tsaconf