Sara Owens

Langley, WA

My current sculptural earring series is part of my ongoing exploration into form as it relates to the ways in which we adapt to our environment, whether it is the biological adaptations we've inherited through natural selection, or the interventions and extensions we provide our bodies--the tools and technology we use to analyze, enhance and perpetuate its function. My interest lies in the fact that limitations in our environment, including the environment of our own bodies, provide pathways for adaptation, innovation and growth. I find it fascinating that beauty can emerge from limitations: the roundness of a femur's head, the strength and hollowness of a bone--these were not designed by an artist or an engineer and then built. The design comes, instead, from a history of phenotypic expressions and mutations that were either well suited to the environment or not, resulting in the myriad of skeletal structures and cell forms from species to species around the world. But despite how well adapted to our environment we become, natural selection has not prevented our bodies from aging and ailing. Nevertheless, humanity has built upon nature's legacy of adaption through technology to detect disease or replace body parts with manufactured components in order to perpetuate function.