This is the artist's first permanent public commission in the UK and covers the sculptural facade on the Whitechapel Gallery building.
Tree of Life by Rachel Whiteread, 20112012
© The artist / Photo: Guy Montagu-Pollock @ Arcaid & Photo © Marcus Dawes 2012
- Bronze and gold leaf
- Gallery façade: 23 x 8 m
- Art Fund grant:
- £200,000 ( Total: £392,700)
- Acquired in:
- Rachel Whiteread
It features clusters of leaves, cast in bronze and plated in gold leaf, emblazoning the gallery's facade with shimmering foliage. The work was inspired by both the Tree of Life, an Arts and Crafts motif adorning the gallery's towers, and 'Hackney weed', the urban plants that grow on buildings in the area. A frieze was originally planned for the building when it opened in 1901 to embody the Gallery's public message bringing great art to the people of London but was never realised until this commission completed in 2012. This work was acquired with assistance from the Wolfson Foundation.