Haneefah Adam finds niche in food art
Instagram is filled with images of just about anything and everything. Cutting through the clutter is Haneefah Adam, a visual artist and a Pharmacology and Drug discovery master’s degree holder from Coventry University UK. What makes her different is the beautiful food art she creates; motifs, designs and pictures made out of food items. Her talent for food art sprung her into the limelight when she won the #TechMeetsArtNG competition, sponsored by Samsung Mobile Nigeria and Rele Gallery.
“I’ve always had a flair for the arts since I was a little girl and it was acknowledged in my family,” she said. “I started creating food art about three years ago, playing around with grains because I wanted to try something different after getting inspired by unconventional materials artists use globally.
“I have been using other materials such as plants and everyday objects as well ever since.”
She is inspired by the shapes, colours and the ‘stories food has to tell.’ She is also inspired by things happening around her and unique properties of the food.
“I don’t have a favourite food in particular, I like to work with,” she said. “Although dry ones are easier to ‘manage’ and work with.”
Her biggest challenge comes from the mess that can come from food and the fact that uncooked food easily changes form over time so she has to work with time to be able to create the best version of her art.
She is also the brains behind ‘Hijabarbie’, a hijab-wearing Barbie she created to represent Muslim girls around the world, and the doll has quickly become Instagram’s latest style sensation. Hijabarbie’s Instagram account features her in multiple looks, with each dress and hijab created by Haneefah herself.
She initially started the account as an ‘outlet’ for her creativity but now she hopes it would ultimately promote a positive awareness.
“The idea occurred to me when I realised that I haven’t really seen a barbie doll dressed up in hijab before,” she said in an interview with DailyMail. “I was still studying then and I decided to think and pray about it for a while before deciding to start documenting my own hijabi dressed up doll. I never really dreamed about it since childhood or developed it over time because I was a different kind of artist. I started developing interest for sewing when I was 13 and only made paper dresses before then.”
“It has roots in my religion and cultural identity,” she said in an interview with CNN. “The way Barbie dresses is very skimpy and different and there’s nothing wrong with it. I just wanted to give another option for Muslim girls like me.”
She added: “I want to use the Instagram page to create an identity for her similar to Barbie.”
Apart from all that, she has a budding clothing line and runs her own modest lifestyle brand, Hanie. She loves cooking, especially creating visually appealing dishes and it reflects across her social media pages.