Letter: 'House' fits the neighbourhood

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The Independent Online
Sir: In the perspective of the past, Rachel Whiteread's House has many of the characteristics of the best examples of public sculpture (Letters; ' 'House' should be demolished', 17 November). It is large, noticeable and controversial. In the particular context of a famous London residential neighbourhood, it is relevant, memorable and an uninhibited political statement.

The very attractive series of green parks now bounding much of the western edge of Grove Road, Bow, contain at least one other contemporary monument - the series of large wood carvings on Haverfield Green commemorating the great storm of 1987.

Whether House on the edge of Wennington Green is entirely appropriate for that site is arguable. While, for example, it cannot match the fine intrinsic quality of the metal railings that bound it, House is in its own way just as self-confident a statement as 'Driftway', the splendid 19th-century historic building opposite.

However, I believe that the key to the present argument is much more basic in so far as, unlike the great public sculptures of the past, House may not be made to last; witness for example the many exposed wooden joists. Has anyone thought to ask the artist or her patrons?

Yours faithfully,

David Coombs


The Antique Collector

London, W1

18 November