Personal Space: Richard Henriquez
March 11, 2013
Photo: Lucas Finlay
1. Raising the roof
Henriquez created his Jericho Circle House (1986) by lifting a 1937 cottage and resting it on six giant screws. Interested in questions of authenticity, he daylighted the floor joists of the existing home and retained its basement windows- now at ceiling height. The new living space's wood floor rests visibly on a wider concrete pad. Outside, the original front door floats disconcertingly above the new entrance, itself flanked by trompe l'oeil mirrors.
2. Heart and hearth
Son Gregory is also an architect (best known for Woodward's); daughter Alisa teaches paining at Michigan State and is an artist. Wife Carol studied at Emily Carr and started the Arts Umbrella. Alisa was married in this chuppah-like altar space formed beaneath the original fireplace, which rests on slender pillars; the steps were cast in situ.
3. A solid base
Massively prolific, Henriquez, 72, has been making art since he began carving limestone as a 10-year-old in Kingston, Jamaica. He's constructed countless surrealist-inflected sculptures like these, many mounted on tripod bases. (He studied structural engineering at the University of Manitoba in the '60s.)
4. Life and art
The wheels, angles, ribs, and curves of building projects like Eugenia Place and the BC Cancer Research Centre return in these works, which share an emphasis on body parts, mechanical bits, and textual snippets
5. All in the family
A sculpture by Carol (more stand in the altar) sits near a coffee table designed by Richard to dock into the fireplace stairs or into a metal step leading out to the garden designed by Cornelia Oberlander. Elsewhere in the room, drawings by Gregory, paintings by Alisa, and a giant wheel containing creations by all four family members