Portals Into Rutherglen

Arts Rutherglen has commenced an exciting and innovative new project; using street art to brighten up the doors and windows of Rutherglen’s historic Main Street businesses.

Now that the Main Street is going through revitalization, our arts group thought that some form of visual art could only enhance the beauty of our town even further and it was time to unlock the rich and varied history of our old shops. Thus the concept of ‘Portals into Rutherglen” was born.

With the strong support of Indigo Shire, Destination Rutherglen and Winemakers, Arts Rutherglen was able to commission Kirrily Anderson from ‘Paper Trail Studio’ Chiltern to create an installation in a large window at Rutherglen Wine Experience and Information Centre as a glimpse into Rutherglen’s commercial past.
Kirrily’s art piece, “High Times, Hard Times” is drawn in a contemporary, illustrative way and depicts the history of former grocers Aitken and Fullerton.

And what a rich past has been discovered! Trawling through diaries, photographs at the Historical Society and listening to residents, Kirrily discovered many fascinating aspects about the former grocery store ie why the ladies liked shopping there, why Percy Fullerton was so well respected in the community and the mystery of who operated the aerial cash system known as the ‘Flying Fox’. And the identities of the beautifully named, Thistle and Fern, daughters of Archibald Aitken.

In keeping with the grocery theme, many detailed images of kitchen, food and household items of the era have been incorporated into her striking design.

Other towns paint silos (initially considered by Arts Rutherglen) or murals on walls but our street art concept is fresh and different, especially when we have incorporated a quirky element like ‘Spot the Wine Bottle’into Kirrily’s picture.

‘Portals into Rutherglen’ may be about the past but Arts Rutherglen is embracing the future with QR technology enabling visitors to obtain more information about the images with the use of their mobile phones.
‘High Times, Hard Times” is the first in our series with three more doors and windows planned for 2019.
Through depicting the past in a contemporary way, Arts Rutherglen is committed to strengthening the town’s future through art.