Inspired by marine life, Bean Finneran's sculptures illustrate the mysterious nature of the lifeforms that inhabit the bottom of our oceans. Each displays a sense of wonderment to them, playful and uniquely strange. This aura of playfulness, however, doesn't stop with aesthetics alone.
Finneran's sculptures are at first glance intricately bound, similar to an orchestrated pile of sticks. Upon further review, the sculpture reveals to be individually coiled pieces of clay. Although the entire structure is seemingly monochromatic, each clay coil is fired and glazed slightly, but distinctly differently. The colors are of the same family, but offer a vast variety of shades and hues, and while some have a visible luster glaze, others retain a matte-like surface. While each of these pieces are individually unique, they make up an even more impressive larger structure. These coiled wonders are placed together to create the sculpture, unbound and merely held together by the laws of gravity.
Purely improvisational, Finneran's works are site-specific, singular to the design at the location. Set in geometric patterns that are then repeated, each work is constructed meticulously in a form of mediation. Akin to rhythms of nature, Finneran matches the cyclical beat of the planet paired with basic geometrics. This pick up stick formation is endlessly delicate,looking, but sound.
At her most recent exhibition in Portland at PDX Contemporary, Finneran debuted a new kind of gravitational structure. Instead of the calling card of her coiled clay, Finneran has been exploring with flat geometric shapes, that are then similarly piled. Some round, while others were rectangular or square, but each had a similar color narrative and the same floating formation, simply relying on gravity. Of the same family, this new body of work is interspersed and provides solid contrast to her more "wild" works. Such an elemental practice, paired with the simple challenge of gravity, makes Finneran's career and work emblematic of contemporary sculptures' endless boundaries.