The Lucy Lloyd Archive Resource and Exhibition Centre is a research centre at the Michaelis School of Fine Art that was established in 1996, following the Miscast exhibition (curated by Pippa Skotnes) held at the South African National Gallery. The Miscast exhibition embodied a creative curatorial methodology which was richly interdisciplinary, strongly historically constrained and dependent on display strategies which were seen as generative of future research projects in the fine arts. The considerable archive of material as well as equipment, furniture and display items were worthy of preservation and to that end space was provided and external funds were raised for the renovation of the rooms and facilities.

Today LLAREC occupies space at the rear of the Old Medical School Building consisting of a workshop area, a display and office area, and two storage spaces. Facilities include computer and digitizing equipment, large-scale printing equipment, various cameras, and hand and electrical tools. LLAREC projects also depend, to some extent, on facilities available in the Michaelis School of Fine Art.

LAREC was established to promote the visual as a site of knowledge and research in the fine arts. Concerned essentially with the making of art objects and the production of exhibitions, artists have, in our opinion, a particular responsibility within the academy. Here, the potential for interdisciplinarity and the necessity for subjecting creative work to intellectualization and theorisation, provide special opportunities for the realisation of research in creative projects.

Curatorship is deemed to be the facilitating strategy through which research insights are revealed and the mechanism whereby new knowledge is created. Curatorship, in this context, is understood to be the creative process which deflects attention away from individual objects and images, and onto the real or implied relationships these bear to each other and to history and society. Through curatorship, objects are allowed to become both sites of meaning and mnemonics through which reference can be made to a wider resonance of meaning. At the heart of our curatorial practice is the issue of representation and many of our projects have interrogated the ways in which the historical, social and medical construction of identity has been revealed through representation. We are also concerned to reveal the ways in which the visual or artists' book is, and can be, an act of curatorship.

LLAREC is comprised of three separate but interrelated units:

  1. The Archive Resource
  2. The Museum Workshop
  3. The Print Cabinet

LLAREC is directed by Pippa Skotnes and its members include Stephen Inggs, Fritha Langerman, Sandra Prosalendis and Gwen van Embden