‘I knew exactly what I’d done; it was quite other-worldly; I knew it was special; that it was the germ of something’
The first woman to win the Turner Prize, and one of the notorious YBAs who burst onto the London art scene in the late 1990s, Rachel Whiteread takes the unseen or ‘negative’ spaces of interiors and transforms them into art works. Using industrial materials, she casts the interior volumes of entire rooms, domestic objects, and in one controversial case, an entire house in the East End, into solid immovable masses. Her breakthrough work, Ghost is a plaster cast of the inside of a room of a Victorian townhouse. Immortalising and making visible the unseen and overlooked, these sculptures take on a strange poignancy; elegiac and monumental, they evoke memories and moments past, as absence is given a strange, bewildering presence.
Words by Annabel Matterson. The Iris Letter September 2017.