Artist Showcase: Barnie Emma

Browsing through Barnie Emma’s online portfolio, I find myself thrown into a vibrant world of silliness and surrealism, with enough satire to fix a wry smile on even the sternest of faces.

Featuring uncanny, politically-aware illustrations, stop-motion animations, and films focused on issues ranging from Trump’s rise to presidency to the plight of Syrian refugees, Barnie’s work is not only pertinent, but immensely witty.

If, like me, you’re interested in words and wordplay, then these playful illustrations are sure to raise a giggle. Featuring gorgeous visual aids to accompany intriguing etymological definitions and rhyme-based animal/object pairings, they’re fun as well as educational and I absolutely love them!

Rhyme Play

Can you name both the animal and the object in the images below?



Word Origins

1. Giraffe

Originally known as “camelopards,” giraffes were once thought to be a cross between a leopard and a camel due to their camel-like shape and leopard-like colouring.


2. Dandelion

The word “dandelion” comes from the French, ‘dent-de-lion’, meaning “lion’s tooth,” and refers to the length and shape of the plant’s petals. While the word “Dandelion” is now obsolete on the continent, it remains in use across the British Isles.


About the Artist

Barnie Emma is an independent illustrator and filmmaker who enjoys juxtaposing art and politics, surrealism and normality. Find her on Instagram @barnieart.

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