Window into Rutherglen’s past unveiled
An enthusiastic crowd celebrated with Arts Rutherglen in the spectacular unveiling of its exciting and innovative new project at Rutherglen Wine Experience on Thursday, September 27.
Now that the Main Street is going through revitalisation, Arts Rutherglen thought that some form of visual art could only enhance the beauty of Rutherglen 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 of Rutherglen, 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 as they rode the waves of boom and bust.
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, its highly respected owners and Aitken’s daughters, Thistle and Fern.
Arts Rutherglen was delighted to establish contact with David Smith (a grandson of Percy Fullerton) who travelled from near Darwin to unveil the portal and establish contact with family and friends in Rutherglen, which he last visited 23 years ago. This made the event extraordinary.
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.
Also incorporated into the art work is a quirky element ‘Spot the Wine Bottle’ – a guaranteed people please.
‘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.