Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
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Adrienne Sloane ─ At the End of My Rope & The Unraveling

Sloane is a dedicated fiber artist and advocate, political activist, and feminist. She increasingly elides her feelings about the state of the U.S. with her practice in fiber. Lynching imagery expresses her gut response and exasperation with the current state of politics, and shows her facility to create provocative socio-political works that are meant to "needle the establishment," to borrow from an article she wrote. Sloane is among several accomplished artists who have brought fiber art to the forefront of serious media practice. She is based in Watertown, Massachusetts.

Artist's Statement

While much of my work has been sculptural knitting, more recently I have been exploring a broader range of fiber approaches and techniques. My art is often a visceral response to the constant assault of unsettling news that pours out of the radio in my studio. I use the medium of fiber to rejoin the frayed and unraveled places around me.


Adrienne Sloane - At the end of my rope

Adrienne Sloane 
At the End of My Rope, 2019 
Knit cotton, rope 
57 (top of the noose) x 14 1/2 
Photo credit: Adrienne Sloane

Statement on At The End of My Rope, 2019

Created initially in response to a call for a show on rope, At The End of My Rope is a deconstructed knit flag hanging limply from a noose. In play with the title, this piece is a deeply felt visual commentary on what is happening in the country today.

The Unraveling

Adrienne Sloane - The Unraveling

Adrienne Sloane
Detail, The Unraveling, 2017 ff.
hand-knit cotton, poly and cotton fabrics
with copy of U.S. Constitution printed on fabric
73 x 38 x 8
Photo credit: Adrienne Sloane

Statement on The Unraveling, 2017

Drawing on an iconic national symbol, The Unraveling is the third in a series of flags that I have created over the last ten years. Since the 2016 election, the news has been dominated by an unorthodox administration that has consistently undermined our democracy, national unity and the values we stand for as Americans. Hung against the backdrop of the U.S. Constitution, I have been unraveling this piece in public performances throughout the northeast as I witness the administration continue to erode our civil and political rights. By happenstance, The Unraveling has been quarantined at its most recent showing at the Massachusetts State House. With exhibitions now mostly virtual, this closed governmental location represents as perfect a metaphor as I could ever have conceived as the nation waits out the election season.

Video compilation:
Senator William N. Brownsberger, President Pro Tempore of the Massachusetts Senate making remarks on The Unraveling in his office, Boston State House, 2020 and The Unraveling at the Fuller Craft Museum, Brockton, Massachusetts, 2018

Adrienne Sloane portrait

Adrienne Sloane unraveling The Unraveling
13 Forest Gallery, Arlington, Massachusetts, February 2020

Biographical Statement

A contemporary fiber artist with a political focus, Adrienne Sloane has deeply explored all forms of sculptural knit structures out of her Lexington, Massachusetts studio. More recently embracing a broader range of fiber approaches and techniques, Sloane addresses timely yet universal issues, remaining mindful of the rich historical context of her medium.

Sloane has won many awards and her work has been published widely in magazines and books, among them Fiber Art NowSurface Design JournalThe Culture of KnittingTextiles, The Art of Mankind; and Knitting Art. Sloane's art has been acquired by the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Goldstein Museum of Design, The Kamm Collection and The American Textile History Museum, as well as by private collections. Sculptural fiber exhibitions she has curated include Beyond Knitting (2008) and Primary Structures (2010) at the San José Museum of Quilts and Textiles and Metaphoric Fibers (2010) at the Textile Center in Minneapolis. Having worked with indigenous knitters in Bolivia and Peru as well as teaching widely, Sloane continues to show internationally. She also writes occasionally for the contemporary textile art magazine, Fiber Art Now


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