This series of quilts using aerial views of prisons questions our culture of surveillance and incarceration. A view of Guantanamo Prison on WikiLeaks was the genesis for this project; its quaint cottage-like form when seen from above belies the prison’s wrenching history. Traditional quilt patterns have much in common with shapes found in prison design; they are typically symmetrical with blocks of repeating geometric shapes that radiate outward from a central axis. Many evoke Jeremy Bentham’s panopticon, which was conceived as a central space from which a watcher could observe prisoners without being seen, to keep the incarcerated under a constant state of perceived surveillance and instill a sense of paranoia and behavior regulation. Quilts immediately bring to mind ideas of home, comfort, and security, of communities and their histories, of labor and women’s work. They indicate a protected space. As heirlooms they carry narratives that are otherwise forgotten. Bringing these two seemingly polarized forms together allows me highlight the costs born by societies deeply invested in incarceration.

Maximum Security
Maximum Security in "Why Wallpaper" at the Villa Terrace Museum
2016

Quilt of Rikers Island and 50 States Wallpapers: Wisconsin and Rhode Island. Historic Wallpapers amended with Maximum Security Prisons
Elizabeth Duffy Maximum Security

Elizabeth Duffy Maximum Security 5 color screen print with gunpowder on coated paper
Detail of 50 States: Wisconsin, with Waupun Penitentiary
2016
5 color screen print with gunpowder on coated paper
Elizabeth Duffy Maximum Security 2 color screen print
50 States: Rhode Island with Howard State Prison
2 color screen print
Elizabeth Duffy Maximum Security
Detail of Maximum Security Installation at the Villa Terrace Museum
Elizabeth Duffy Maximum Security

Elizabeth Duffy Maximum Security
Maximum Security, Installation view with "P is for Panopticon" Quilt, Prints and Security Envelope Wallpaper
2016

Each letter is made from the aerial view of a US Prison.
Elizabeth Duffy Maximum Security
Maximum Security, Installation view with "In Memory of Kalief Browder Quilt", Prints and Security Envelope Wallpaper
2016
Elizabeth Duffy Maximum Security
Maximum Security, Installation view with "In Memory of Kalief Browder", "Florence ADX a" Quilts and Security Envelope Wallpaper
2016
Elizabeth Duffy Maximum Security
Maximum Security, Installation view with "Florence ADX, a, b and c" and Security Envelope Wallpaper
2016
Elizabeth Duffy Maximum Security
Maximum Security, Installation view with "Florence ADX a and b", and Security Envelope Wallpaper
Elizabeth Duffy Maximum Security
Maximum Security, Installation view with "In Memory of Kalief Browder", "Florence ADX a and b", and Security Envelope Wallpaper
2016
Elizabeth Duffy Maximum Security
Maximum Security, Installation view with "Spike Island Quilt"
Elizabeth Duffy Maximum Security Uniforms, Calico, Fabric Printed with Security Envelope Patterns from Banks
Spike Island
2015
Uniforms, Calico, Fabric Printed with Security Envelope Patterns from Banks
75 x 60 inches, King Size

Spike Island is a star shaped fort in Ireland that was used as a prison.
Elizabeth Duffy Maximum Security
Spike Island, detail
Elizabeth Duffy Maximum Security Plan of Rikers Island in pulled fabric, printed with security envelope pattern, bedding
In Memory of Kalief Browder
2016
Plan of Rikers Island in pulled fabric, printed with security envelope pattern, bedding
6' x 8, the size of a solitary confinement cell at Rikers Island

This quilt was adapted from the popular quilt pattern tic-tack-toe.
Elizabeth Duffy Maximum Security
Detail of In Memory of Kalief Browder, pulled thread
Elizabeth Duffy Maximum Security Fabrics printed with security envelope patterns, bedding
P is for Panopticon, Maximum Security Quilt
2016
Fabrics printed with security envelope patterns, bedding
67 x 76 inches

Each letter is an aerial view of a maximum security prison built by the United States using public and private funds.
Elizabeth Duffy Maximum Security

Elizabeth Duffy Maximum Security
Maximum Security Quilt, Florence ADXa
Elizabeth Duffy Maximum Security
Maximum Security Quilt, Florence ADXb
Elizabeth Duffy Maximum Security
Maximum Security Quilt, Florence ADXc
Elizabeth Duffy Maximum Security Fabric Printed with Security Envelope Patterns from Banks  and Government Agencies
Thompson Correctional Center
2015
Fabric Printed with Security Envelope Patterns from Banks and Government Agencies
60 x 60 inches

Quilt Pattern: Hugs and Kisses
Elizabeth Duffy Maximum Security
detail of Thompson Prison
Elizabeth Duffy Maximum Security
Maximum Security, detail of prints and wallpaper
2016
Elizabeth Duffy Maximum Security Pigment print with Staples
Maximum Security
2016
Pigment print with Staples
11 x 8 1/2 inches

Aerial View of a Maximum Security Prison altered with administrative materials
Elizabeth Duffy Maximum Security Pigment print with Whiteout Tape
Maximum Security: Charkia
2016
Pigment print with Whiteout Tape
11 x 8 1/2 inches

Aerial View of a Maximum Security Prison altered with administrative materials
Elizabeth Duffy Maximum Security Pigment print with Whiteout
Maximum Security
2016
Pigment print with Whiteout
11 x 8 1/2 inches

Aerial View of a Maximum Security Prison altered with administrative materials
Elizabeth Duffy Maximum Security pigment print with circle reinforcements
Maximum Security: Rikers Island Aerial View
2015
pigment print with circle reinforcements
11 x 8 1/2 inches

Aerial View of a Maximum Security Prison altered with administrative materials
Elizabeth Duffy Maximum Security Pigment print with Tape and stamp
Maximum Security
2016
Pigment print with Tape and stamp
11 x 8 1/2 inches

Aerial View of a Maximum Security Prison altered with administrative materials
Elizabeth Duffy Maximum Security Pigment print with tacks
Maximum Security
2016
Pigment print with tacks
11 x 8 1/2 inches

Aerial View of a Maximum Security Prison altered with administrative materials
Elizabeth Duffy Maximum Security Pigment print with Tape and charcoal
Maximum Security
2016
Pigment print with Tape and charcoal
11 x 8 1/2

Aerial View of a Maximum Security Prison altered with administrative materials
Elizabeth Duffy Maximum Security
Maximum Security Alphabet
2016

Aerial views of prisons
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