This too will pass…

image from artist in Prison scheme by Eoin Mac Lochlainn in Arbour hill prison

Well, talking of lockdown and all that, I’ve been working in a prison for the last few weeks, giving a painting workshop, but obviously that has all been put on hold now, because of the Corona virus.

There was a fair bit of anxiety in there, most of my students being a good bit older than me, and the thought of being confined in a building with over 300 others added to their stress.

For myself, of course we sanitised our hands at every landing but, other than that, it really was no different to any other painting workshop.  In general, the prisoners are in good spirits as the classes break the monotony of their day and, when the prisoners are occupied, the guards are more relaxed and so it makes life a bit easier for everyone.

The painting above is by one of my students. Our workshop was about colour and the effects of colour and he told me how he was in a long dark tunnel at first but that now, he could see a light at the end of it.  I like that. As the prophet once said: “This too will pass”.


  1. Such an expressive painting, keep up the brilliant work. I bet each member benefits massively from your sessions. Being able to express yourself positively through being creative is a litmus for well being and change. Thank you for sharing.


  2. Hi Eoin, what a coincidence, I was in the middle of a AIP too at Mountjoy doing portrait workshops. Yes the inmates felt very vulnerable as the hygien standards aren’t great in prison. At least it was reassuring to see all the hand sanatizers . Ironically the lads were in great form but I agree with what you say. I think the art classes really help them find hope, in discovering they can express themselves in a way they never had the chance to do so before! Plus they give you so much positivity in return that gives one an enormous sense of pride and wellbeing.
    Keep up the good work!!
    Best wishes
    Chris Banahan


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