A stitch in time promotes sustainability at Hammour House’s community knitting workshops
DUBAI, 14 November 2021 – Visitors to Expo 2020 Dubai are being encouraged to spend more time focusing on their minds, bodies – and fingertips – through the therapeutic powers of knitting. A one-of-a-kind community art project by Hammour House is tackling the Expo subtheme of sustainability, in an engaging and artistic way.
Knitting has been dubbed the ultimate stress reliever – British diving champion Tom Daley was seen casting on during the Tokyo Olympics, former US First Lady Michelle Obama took up the hobby during lockdown, and singer Demi Lovato soothed her flying nerves by posting a photo of herself knitting on an airplane. Now, Expo 2020 visitors and participants from all 192 countries represented can get involved in the popular pastime.
Hammour House brings together different people, engaging schoolchildren, marine biologists, fishermen, community and art institutions to curate a stunning space with workshops and activations that spark creativity and stimulate positive action.
The all-wool and yard-wide knitting project is close to the heart of Hammour House spokesperson Ahmed Alenezi, who has a background in Marine Biology and Visual Arts. Alenezi said the world has become so immersed in technology that people have forgotten the beauty of creating things with their hands.
“Everything at Hammour House – aside from the 3D printed rocks – is handmade. In the midst of the beautiful energy at Expo 2020, sometimes you want to take a moment to reflect on things that you’ve seen or that have inspired you to tackle the issue of sustainability hands-on. By bringing audiences closer to the theme of marine life, we can entertain visitors and engage them in conversations about the future of sustainability and marine conservation without it being too serious, or too heavy.”
For the finger-knitting workshops only ethically-sourced materials are used and all the patterns – which include octopuses and starfish – are ocean-themed. The fluffy yarn has been created in factories that produce lower emissions and have a lesser impact on the environment, while the dyes – partially made from recycled plastics – are safe and non-toxic.
Alenezi was enthusiastic about the benefits of taking part in the complimentary workshops: “You’re meditating and you’re relaxing, but then you’re also trying to figure out the numbers, so you are counting ahead while using your fingers to create something. And then you take your creation home and you look back and say: ‘I made this at Expo 2020 Dubai and I had a conversation with other people about important issues.’ This is how we can start to live a simpler and more intentional life.”
Drop-in classes take place from 1000 – 1800 daily at Hammour House, located in the Opportunity District.