Whiteread casts everyday settings, objects, and surfaces in ghostly, free replicas. There is almost a practical use to the cases, suggesting a new permanence, imbued with memory. A childhood surrounded and influenced from architecture and art allowed Whiteread to look up and process the fluidity between the two. The processes of looking, emptying, and filling run throughout her work, revealing how the surfaces of daily life can disappear and reappear, bearing the traces of previous lives.
Now known for her large-scale sculpture and ambitious, architecturally scaled concrete works. These works capture the details of entire rooms, buildings and large architectural elements such as stairs. The concrete is poured in a manner to pick up each scratch and bump of the surfaces it touches, carrying the memory and detail into another life.
Although the works that Whiteread creates are to architectural scales, she wishes for them to become invisible, much like the way architecture becomes. Attention is not paid to architecture currently and Whiteread wishes for her pieces to be something that you ‘come across’ and that is part of the landscape. The use of concrete as the main material of the works also comments on the building industry and the current standards of building materials.