I was a student in Manchester in the late '90s. One weekend, we went to Liverpool for the day and visited the Tate, probably to get coffee, if I'm honest. It was here that I first came across Rachel Whiteread's work, by accident. I absolutely loved it. I was captivated by the idea of registering, claiming, the invisible space.
This is a show that is so very worth seeing.
Tate Britain, Westminster, London, SW1.
until 21 January 2018
Whiteread has used her casting technique to record the underneath, the in-between, the shadows, the gaps, the splinters, notches, scratches and folds of everyday life. Chairs, tables, book cases, floors, doors, stairwells and whole houses are recorded in plaster, resin and papier mache. Whiteread is able to work at huge scale (her controvertial House cast in 1993 won her the Turner Prize), but also to preserve the human detail and to somehow capture something just passing.
I love the colours of the Untitled (One Hundred Spaces) casts. The jewel like tones and jelly like appearance make them seem playful even though they stand in lines that at the same time feel solemn, grave and serious.
And then...as I walked back towards Westminster I passed the Houses of Parliament just as the sun touched the roof lighting the gilded tops of the turrets. I had never noticed them before. It's good to be a tourist in your own city sometimes.