PROJECT: Magdalene Memorial Quilt – Isobel Plowright

This memorial quilt is a commemorative project dedicated to the women who toiled in the Magdalene laundries at the international scale. Drawing from photographs I took of the former laundries in Ireland as well as from archival material I researched in Quebec city, this blanket attempts to convey both the built environment and life within the institutions. Each image is embroidered using a digital sewing machine on hand-loomed ethically sourced cotton. The blue color of the cloth is meant to evoke the uniforms that women wore in Quebec city, as well as the national colors of Ireland and Quebec. The working hands, embroidered in white thread on white cotton, symbolize invisible labor: women in Irish Magdalene laundries received no wage for their work. This project remains as of yet unfinished, and will honor any contribution by survivors of the Magdalene laundries or their relatives.


Dates and Location

Wednesday, October 12


The Magdalene Laundries: Remembering through artistic practices / Les Buanderies Madeleine: se souvenir à travers les pratiques artistiques

Isobel Plowright et/and Audrey Rousseau

Center for Oral History and Digital Storytelling (COHDS)

Library Building, 10th Floor, Room LB-1042

1400 de Maisonneuve Blvd W.

Montreal, QC, Canada




About the Artist

Isobel Plowright is a candidate for an MA in Interdisciplinary Studies on the subject of Magdalene asylums in Québec and Ireland. Her interests include performance studies, feminist theory and women’s history. She is an interdisciplinary artist who specializes in painting and drawing, and she has conducted field research in Ireland and France. She is inspired by the works of contemporary artists Ghada Amer, painter Marlene Dumas and stained glass artist and printmaker Harry Clarke. She has worked as an assistant to the art department on a networked TV show, and she has also been involved in activism for gender equality and participated in initiatives against sexual violence.


Further and Contact Information


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