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Whitechapel Gallery unveils Rachel Whiteread's frieze

  • Date: 14 June 2012
  • Area: London
Rachel Whiteread's frieze of golden leaves and branches adorns the Whitechapel Gallery building facade

Whitechapel Gallery Rachel Whiteread Commission: Tree of Life (2012). Credit: Guy Montagu-Pollock @ Arcaid

To celebrate the unveiling of British artist Rachel Whiteread's new commission at London's Whitechapel Gallery, The Space is showing four films on the artist.

Three of the films, by National portfolio organisation the Whitechapel Gallery, provide the backstory leading up to the unveiling of the new work and a fourth on the artist is from Tate's archive.

The permanent work, a frieze featuring a golden cluster of leaves and branches on the gallery's historic façade, was unveiled by Whitechapel Gallery Director Iwona Blazwick OBE, with an introduction from Danny Boyle, filmmaker and London 2012 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony Artistic Director. Also present were Art Fund Director Stephen Deuchar and Ruth Mackenzie, Director of the London 2012 Festival.

Rachel Whiteread said: 'Having been a resident of the East End for over 25 years I have a deep connection with the area and its cultural depths and diversity.

'The Whitechapel Gallery has played a pivotal role in the East End's historic and thriving cultural community. I am honoured to have been able to make a site-specific sculpture for the gallery's façade, contributing to the fabric and architecture of this historic landmark and London's cultural legacy.'

The Whitechapel Gallery Rachel Whiteread commission was made possible by the Art Fund. It is one of the major commissions of the London 2012 Festival, of which the Arts Council is a principal funder.

Find out more about the London 2012 Festival.

The Space is a free digital, pop-up arts service, developed by Arts Council England in partnership with the BBC. Find out more.