TE2/1980/7 DESCRIPTION
Exhibition tour. Begins with a zoomed in shot of signage that reads 'The Special Unit, Barlinnie Prison, Its Evolution Through Its Art, Third Eye Centre, 50p'. The handheld camera pans out to reveal a stand of postcards, people in the shop front and reception area of the Third Eye Centre. Two main doorways lead straight back to the main galleries and off right to the Bar and Cafe. At 8 min, 25 sec, there is a cut to black and a resume on the gallery space. At 29 min, 19 sec, there is another cut to black before the camera resumes, zoomed in on signage that reads 'The Special Unit Introduction'. The film is a series of long, continuous panning shots that focus and zoom in on aspects of the exhibition and space. These intervals are interspersed with footage of people gathering and conversing in the Bar and Cafe. Ends with a close-up of an exit sign with garland placed in front of it. A blurred pan and zoom out shows artwork again, and two people conversing in the gallery space. A tracking wave cuts the footage. There is no sound throughout the film.

Third Eye Centre had an ongoing interest in the special unit at Barlinnie Prison and organised several exhibitions based on the work being produced there in workshops. The Unit was set up in 1973 and the thinking behind it was influenced by Maxwell Jones’ concept of a therapeutic community. Art therapist, Joyce Laing, set up the first art workshops in the Unit working with prisoners such as Jimmy Boyle and Hugh Collins. Tom McGrath invited muralist Beth Shadur from Chicago to work there and she also appears in several of the tapes working alongside John Kraska on a children's’ murals project.

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