Opening to Synchronicity: A Conversation with Rania Hassan

RaniaHassanPicLondon2013B&W3Photo by Ash Chagla

The story of how I met artist and knitter Rania Hassan begins with the now common, always magical, ethereal internet methods of mentions and clicks. A longtime online friend (the wise builder and passionate connector Mari Huertas) shared my old About Me page, something I built when I began to teach but had not updated in years. Rania happened upon it, connected with the words “knitting meditation”, and followed me. I am not always in tune with my followers list, but I noticed a new face that day and went to her website to get acquainted, where I found these words:

I am fascinated by the connections we find in our everyday experiences. How do we think of our place in this world? How do we fit in it?

My work is about levels of connectedness. I paint, draw, and knit to represent these moments. We are all connected somehow.

I was in the fragile first steps of this project, weeks before deciding to take it on the road, and I immediately reached out to Rania about the possibility of an interview. In my travels up the east coast, it felt natural to stop in Washington DC to meet her in person.

Had Mari not shared that particular page, had Rania not known Mari, had I not been curious and reached out personally, had she not been so open and receptive to that contact – had we not a shared practice and heritage of knitting, this conversation might never have happened. Of course, there are infinite threads that weave the background of each of these conversations in the Perspectives on Practice project, but because of Rania’s discussion of synchronicity in her work I am in awe of these laceweight strands, made translucent via the data signals that knitted this particular meeting into being. A Red Thread, indeed.

01.Hassan.TheRedThreadThe Red Thread, as shown in the exhibition Threads. Photo by Pete Duvall.

Listen to Rania tell the story of making this piece, The Red Thread, and others that became part of her exhibit Threads at the Montpelier Arts Center last year. She shares about how synchronicity shows up in her life, how hours of work can precede moments of connection and flow, and the curiosity with which she approaches her art. You’ll also see more images of Rania’s lovely work in photos by Pete Duvall.

Rania on Synchronicity:

It’s something I notice along the way, but then I feel like I have to be open to noticing it. Moments can happen that if you’re not aware that it’s happening, then it just passes you by. I feel like there has to be a consciousness to see it happening.

As always, I invite you to share any insights from your own practice or ways in which Rania’s words tie into your own experience. Today though, with this conversation and the stories that Rania shares, I would particularly love to hear YOUR stories. Tell us about how synchronicity plays a role in or shows up as a result of  your practice. What experiences and events are threaded into your practice?

64 comments on “Opening to Synchronicity: A Conversation with Rania Hassan

  1. This conversation has me thinking about the role of synchronicity not only in my work of photography, but it my life in the broadest sense. My choice to follow my passion into photography, led me to have a break in time which I filled with thru-hiking the AT, which led to me meeting my husband, which led to a growing family. These events weren’t planned in the order which they occurred, and it is hard to look them as merely causal events, instead I tend to feel that there is meaning or a greater purpose behind these events which have created my current life, and new life by their occurrence. Even if there isn’t a greater meaning or purpose, I feel that along with being aware of these moments as Rania tries to do, we should also be grateful for these moments of synchronicity in our lives and our practice. Thank you giving me a reason to pause and reflect on this chilly winter day.

    1. Jessica, I’m so glad to see you in this space! Thank YOU so much for sharing your reflection with us. I love this story, of your growing family based on all these interconnected events… It makes me marvel. And if you’d never been introduced to photography (or hiking!), all this might have happened very differently. Yes, yes. I agree. I feel so grateful for these moments that have shaped and are shaping my life.

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