Tree of Life by Rachel Whiteread

This is the artist's first permanent public commission in the UK and covers the sculptural facade on the Whitechapel Gallery building.


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.


The artist.

Venue details

Whitechapel Gallery 77-82 Whitechapel High Street, LONDON London E1 7QX 020 7522 7888

Entry details

Admission to charging exhibitions £6 with National Art Pass (Standard admission £11.95)

Tue – Sun, 11am – 6pm (Thu until 9pm) Closed 24 – 26 Dec