Home Sculptures Books Biography Events Contact Biography Richard was born December 5,1955 in Winnipeg. Growing up on the western edge of Winnipeg, with farmland and prairie at his doorstep, Richard's artistic talents took on the sensuality of the prairies. When asked to describe his memories, he answers: “some of my earliest memories are about playing in clover fields, helping with the haying, fishing at Sturgeon creek, hand-raising small wild animals, and having a group of friends where art and the creative process was important to them”. Eventually Richard decided, upon the advice of one of these artistic friends, to enter the School of Fine Arts at the University of Manitoba. This is where Richard discovered his abilities as an artist. Richard is not entirely sure where his artistic talents come from, but it is known that members of his father's family were watchmakers and fine craftsman back in England during the 1800s. It was during his years at the University, that Finney accompanied a group of classmates to Peru. This trip also had a great and lasting impression on him. The history and architecture of ancient peoples usually finds itself as a theme or idea on several of his sculptures. Upon earning his Fine Arts diploma in 1985, Richard worked for a stonemason for a short period of time. This helped him develop his skills in sandblasting. A few years later, he decided to start a business producing sandblasted art-glass and architectural metal pieces for commercial installations. Richard's commercial work with architects and interior designers has given him many opportunities to create and develop his own sculptures. Today, several of Winnipeg's leading corporations have one of Finney's sculptures in their collections. Throughout the years, Richard's true passion has always been sculpture. He has worked on developing his own unique detailed craftsmanship, which is the hallmark of a Finney piece. Though his work has evolved on the idea of certain central themes, the detail and finishing is common to all. Finney's early memories, love of fishing, of history and of fine craftsmanship can all be seen interpreted in the Fishing Lure Series, the Toy Series, and the Urns and Reliquaries series. The environment, and the need to protect the earth, also comes up as a theme in many of his pieces, usually in a subtle way, but occasionally as the main theme. In the case of “Clear-Cut Annihilation” the artist's outrage at the destruction of massive tracts of forests is obvious. The complex piece looks innocent enough, but closer inspection reveals a brass hemisphere resting on a base inlaid with carved bone. The delicate clouds that hover over the hemisphere contrast with the violent gash, representing the hole in the ozone layer, which splits the hemisphere in half. The two halves swing open to reveal a devastated forest landscape beneath. His most recent Urn and Reliquaries series has raised a few eyebrows. The name alone has a morbid tone to it. Finney describes this series of sculptures as having a beginning in the traditional idea of what a reliquary is: a container that holds a trinket or remnant of a revered holy being. The Finney twist on this idea comes in the form of a “what if”? His 2004 “Baby Doll Urn” is a good example of the what if. The piece captures all of the majesty and history of an historic Egyptian coffin, a dash of European medieval holy art, and of 20 th century consumerism raising the idea of a simple doll to the level of cultural icon. Finney confesses that he eats, sleeps, and breathes art. He awakens with new ideas in the middle of the night and often comes back from his fishing and hunting trips, revved up to get into the studio. His friends often tease him about his low success rate on these jaunts into the woods, but he always comes back with a bag full of ideas waiting to be developed. Richard can be found working in his home studio most days of the year.
Showing the single result