Filippa Barkman Does Hair… Grotesquely.

When I look at artwork by artist Filippa Barkman, there’s just about one thing I see. That thing is hair — mounds and mounds of it.

Whether by way of conjoined twin wolves melting into a mass or a hollow-eyed ghost of a girl, pieces
from Barkman’s latest series, In Limbo, draw a viewer immediately to flowing locks of hair which begin and end with no clear source — so much so that even when the hair is surrounded by a complete picture, the other details seem to be relatively unimportant. By flowing into one another, the shining, finely-rendered locks serve as structural guidelines for animals and humans to transmute into grotesque formations that seem impossible, but might actually not be.

Written by
Vee Hua 華婷婷

Vee Hua 華婷婷 (they/them) is a writer, filmmaker, and organizer with semi-nomadic tendencies. Much of their work unifies their metaphysical interests with their belief that art can positively transform the self and society. They are the Editor-in-Chief of REDEFINE, Interim Managing Editor of South Seattle Emerald, and Co-Chair of the Seattle Arts Commission. They also previously served as the Executive Director of the interdisciplinary community hub, Northwest Film Forum, where they played a key role in making the space more welcoming and accessible for diverse audiences.

Vee has two narrative short films. Searching Skies (2017) touches on Syrian refugee resettlement in the United States; with it, they helped co-organize The Seventh Art Stand, a national film and civil rights discussion series against Islamophobia. Reckless Spirits (2022) is a metaphysical, multi-lingual POC buddy comedy for a bleak new era, in anticipation of a feature-length project.

Vee is passionate about cultural space, the environment, and finding ways to covertly and overtly disrupt oppressive structures. They also regularly share observational human stories through their storytelling newsletter, RAMBLIN’ WITH VEE!, and are pursuing a Master’s in Tribal Resource and Environmental Stewardship under the Native American Studies Department at the University of Minnesota.

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Written by Vee Hua 華婷婷
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