National Library of Wales

Cliff (Clifford) McLucas Archive

Reference code(s): GB 0210 CLFMCL

Held at:

Title: Cliff (Clifford) McLucas Archive

Short title: Cliff (Clifford) McLucas Archive

Dates of creation: [1945]-[2002]

Level of description: Fonds

Extent and medium: 0.658 cubic metres (23 boxes, 119 loose items, 44 banners, 33 rolls, 19 outsize folders, 4 portfolios, 4 large spiral no

Name of creator(s): Clifford McLucas


Administrative and biographical history: Clifford McLucas was born in 1945 at Wetherby, Yorkshire. He was educated at Pudsey Grammar School and then at Manchester University School of Architecture, where he studied for seven years. Following university, initially he concentrated on architectural projects and moved to Edinburgh to work with a small architectural practice. Alongside this, however, he continued to pursue his wider cultural interests. He also began to carry out his own design and build projects, eventually moving to Dumfries-shire to work with a master carpenter for a year. During this time he began to work to commission making hand-made architectural and furniture installations. In 1974 he moved to Wales, establishing a business in Ceredigion. He continued to carry out self-designed architectural installations and to design and build one-off pieces of furniture to commission. He later became involved in community action in the area. He also began to develop an interest in the 'performative' aspects of the items he was making and to consider his work in terms of installation and fine art. He began to explore collaborations with other artists in the fields of theatre and installation in the Aberystwyth area. A number of early projects stemmed from this, such as the creation and performance of a 12 hour theatre and installation work at the Aberystwyth Arts Centre - C*ND*R*LL*; an exhibition of his art work at the Arts Centre, which included the execution of a series of large, floor based drawings of himself undertaken according to the changing daylight; and the live execution of the first of a number of large wall drawings in the Arts Centre. This work led to his employment as an Exhibitions Organiser at the Arts Centre, his main responsibility being the development of the Gallery Visual Arts Programme. In addition to this, he was a key figure in the establishment of the Barn Centre in Aberystwyth town centre, which became the home to many artists, both individual and groups, working in the region and a number of projects were established there. The Centre was also home to a number of community groups. Initially the work of running the Centre was carried out voluntarily, with Clifford McLucas as chairman of the trust for a number of years. Later he was employed to direct its operations. During his time at the Barn Centre, his work with the Aberystwyth Media Group led to him being invited to become a member of the Welsh Arts Council's Film Committee. He was also asked to be a member of the small team of committee members responsible for developing a range of policies regarding film and video workshops in Wales and to draft a discussion document for the Department to seek to develop a 'Cultural Policy' for the support of independent film and video activities in Wales. During this period also, he was commissioned to work as a media artist in residence in a small group of secondary schools in the area. This involved teaching and advising work, but in addition to that he created a number of large photographic and mixed media 'portraits' that were exhibited in the schools. He began creating large performance works with actors, dancers, visual artists, film makers and others based at the Centre. Through these works and his directorship he met and began to work with Brith Gof, an experimental performance company co-founded in 1981 by Mike Pearson and Lis Hughes Jones, based in Aberystwyth at the time. After working with them on a number of projects he was invited to join the artistic team as a permanent member. He eventually became artistic director of the company. He was invited to work with the company specifically to develop large scale site specific performance and they carried out numerous projects. In 1994 the company relocated to Cardiff, as did McLucas. However a large part of Brith Gof's operation returned to mid-Wales, to Lampeter, in 1998 and again McLucas moved with them. He was appointed the honorary post of Research Fellow at the University of Wales Lampeter. During this period McLucas set up a new long-term programme of work for Brith Gof under the name of ProsiectEcs. In 2000/2001 he was awarded a year-long Senior Research Fellowship at Sanford University, California. He developed a proposal for a shared research project to be housed at the Sanford Humanities Center and which was called the Three Landscapes Project. Whilst in America he was also invited, by members of a national alliance against the death penalty, to begin developments on a work to address the issue, under the working title - the San Quentin Codex. McLucas died in 2002 following a short illness.


Scope and content: Papers and art work of Clifford McLucas, including correspondence and papers relating to performance work created by him; his installation work and projects; proposals, reports and articles prepared by him for a number of bodies and organisations; his graphic design and art work, including examples of art work; papers relating to the architectural aspects of his work; and papers relating to the deep mapping work and projects carried out by him; together with papers relating to his general research interests, and to his professional and personal life in general.


Language/script: English and Welsh with some other languages.

System of arrangement: Arranged at NLW into seven groups: performance work; installation work; proposal, report and article writing work; graphic design and art work; architectural work; deep mapping work; and general professional and personal papers.

Conditions governing access: Readers consulting modern papers in the National Library of Wales are required to abide by the conditions set out in information provided when applying for their Readers' Tickets, whereby the reader shall become responsible for compliance with the Data Protection Act 1998 in relation to any processing by them of personal data obtained from modern records held at the Library.

Conditions governing reproduction: Usual copyright laws apply.

Finding aids: The catalogue can be accessed on-line.
Detailed catalogue


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information: All records deposited in NLW have been retained apart from duplicates, which have been removed.

Accruals: Accruals are possible.

Immediate source of acquisition: Donated by Ms Margaret Ames, Llanilar, June 2005 and [March] 2012; Gudrun Jones, Arthog, September 2011; and Centre for Performance Research per Amy Staniforth, Aberystwyth, August 2012.


Related units of description: Audio-visual, electronic and digital items have been separated and are not included in this description. See also the Brith Gof Archive for related material.


Note: Title supplied from contents of fonds.

Archivist's note: Compiled by Nia Wyn Dafydd. The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: NLW, Clifford McLucas Collection and meetings with donors.

Rules or conventions: Description follows NLW guidelines based on ISAD(G) 2nd ed.; AACR2; and LCSH

Date(s) of description: November 2011.



Artists | Wales

Cartography in art

Theater | Production and direction | Wales

Personal names

McLucas, Cliff (Clifford), 1945-2002

Corporate names