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Hanifa McQueen-Hudson is self-taught contemporary artist. She is known as a political activist. Known for her political message in her art, she claims, her art work is an awakening for society. “My art work, pains my audiences.” Exclaiming her art work brings forth a message my ancestors has kept silence for over 500 years.
Her newly invented art form best known as Art Breaker, meaning art that is created by doing Break dance moves. Has been accepted as a new art for and confirmed as a first in the culture of Hip Hop; bring both graffiti, and break dancing together.
Her art form, and skill is inspired by music, this can be best described as Synaesthesia. The genre chosen to paint to is often inspired by her ancestral, spiritual, message through music such as old negro spirituals, classical, jazz and kumina, a spiritual culture practised in Jamaica.
Hanifa is the UK’s pioneering B Girl of the early 1980s. She is widely accepted as the first UK B Girl to have ever competed on the same level of UK B Boys. Raised by Jamaican parents, Hanifa’s African Caribbean culture and heritage strongly influenced her skills and knowledge of Black dance and music from a very young age of 5.
She was taught how to play African drums (which she considers the same as the ‘break beats’). Formally known as “Bubbles,” Hanifa started B Boying in 1982 at the age of 12 when she first saw her brothers practicing in the front room of their home and kitchen lino floor.
Though Hanifa was trained and qualified as a Mental Health Nurse. She decided to leave nursing to pursue a career as a Breakdance artist.
She rose to fame after being featured in UK’s first ever b boying pop music video, Electro Rock, which she became most famous and remembered for when the host of the show announced her appearance by saying, “check out the one in red…it’s a girl.” She was nominated by Polydor Records and James Street Productions, as Electro Rock’s best female performer in 1985, which catapulted her career at age 16. She has made numerous guest appearances on TV shows such as, Channel 4 Bombin, BBC Saturday Super Store, Cable TV Freeze Frame, Polydor Electro Rock, Black and Blue, ITV Saturday Starship. She also appeared in sportswear commercials for her major sponsors, Puma, Pony, Australian, and Kappa.
In 2005, Martha Cooper and Nika Kramer started a new chapter for Hanifa when she was featured in the historical book of female break dancers, called
We B Girlz. They produced a complimentary documentary honoring Hanifa’s story titled, Redder Than Red, which has been launch throughout the hip hop world, such as Germany, France, The Netherlands, USA, Japan, and many more.
In 2006, she was awarded with the Welsh B Boy Championship Excellence and Achievement Award for her significant contributions to the UK B Boying Scene.
Hanifa is also the first Black British woman to have an African American Black History Month Award named after her legendary status called the “Hanifa Bubbles Queen Awards.”
Her latest project Art Breaker is another mark in Uk’s British Hip Hop history. Art Breaker is a unique and creative way of painting patterns onto canvas without the use of paintbrushes or aerosol paint. B-boying is the tool used to create shapes and patterns by applying paint to the hands and feet. Performed to therapeutic and ambient sounds of nature, Jazz and percussion, each break dance step, twist and spin paints an art piece. In 2007, she was selected as 1 of UK’s top 40 creative artist for the Decibel Showcase in Birmingham, England.
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