Sara Birns distills the multi-faceted and ever-changing nature of human character into each of her uncanny, contorted portraits. Though she’s always loved drawing faces, she began to develop new techniques when she started dedicating herself more seriously to her painting practice. Seeking to illuminate the various influences that impact how our faces appear to one another and change over time, she combines facial features from herself, her friends, family, and strangers, creating entirely new characters. 

I like to tamper and morph the cues that we usually use to recognize a person,” she explains. “Cues such as style, facial features, expressions, and occasionally glimpses into a situation they are in. Human nature is constantly evolving and changing with time and events, equating to the impossibility of fully grasping a person’s character. This is the reason I morph the figures, often obscuring the age. I try to uncover the layers of ever-changing emotions everyone experiences in single moments as we journey to explore ourselves and our influences on this planet.”

Originally from Santa Cruz, California, Birns recently relocated to Australia, where she is currently exploring, in search of the perfect town to settle into with her boyfriend.


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