Uniforms, Calico, Fabric Printed with Security Envelope Patterns from Banks and Government-issued correspondence, bedding and buttons
83 x 65 inches, King Size
Spike Island in Cobh, Ireland, was built by the British as a fort and was later made into a prison. It became the largest convict depot in the world. Early IRA members were incarcerated here. This quilt is based on the repetition of the prison’s plan, which closely resembles a traditional star quilt block. Roughly the size of a king bed sheet, this quilt is pieced from fabrics printed with security envelope patterns, fragments of uniforms and dress shirts, calico, bedding and buttons. I used calico to reference both an exterior space, and ideas about trade and exchange. The British banned calico imports from India, and later became the largest textile producers in the world.
All images copyright of Elizabeth Duffy, 1998-2023