Rutherglen Arts unveil new mural

By Adrienne Hartnett

A bright new mural has been unveiled in Rutherglen recently as part of the ‘Portals of Rutherglen’ project. 

Located on the Valentines Bakehouse building, the mural titled “Kit and Kaboodle” is the fourth instalment of the project by Arts Rutherglen and accompanies the art installation at the Information Centre, the Red Boot sculpture and the stain glass panel at the old chemists’ shop.

The Portals of Rutherglen project launched in 2018 aims to explore the rich history of Rutherglen and brighten up the streetscape.

The latest instalment titled “Kit and Kaboodle” is a contemporary piece by award-winning Chiltern artist Kirrily Anderson. It features symbolic references to the many businesses that have occupied the Main Street building in Rutherglen.

“Taking the circular form, I have selected objects relating to each of the businesses identified by the research of Arts Rutherglen. The objects also reflect the era the stores existed,” Ms Anderson said.

Ms Anderson has worked on several projects and murals across the Indigo Shire and surrounding districts, including the Beechworth and Chiltern Skate Park murals.

The talented local artist was proud to be commissioned for Rutherglen’s latest mural.

“It’s great to be telling a historical story through art in a public space,” she said.

While the COVID-19 pandemic has devastated the tourist town, Arts Rutherglen has continued working tirelessly behind the scenes. 

Arts Rutherglen Treasurer and Public officer Irena Webster said the committee was dedicated to strengthening the town’s future through art.

“We don’t stop,” Ms Webster told The Free Press.  

“It was no easy task to trace the history of businesses in one shop over such a long period. No formal records have been documented… establishments and oral histories are not always a reliable source.

“Drawing a timeline from the 1880s to now has shown a major shift in retail patterns from the Shamrock Hotel, to haberdashery outlets, TV shops, sports stores and now of course cafés and eateries.” 

Arts Rutherglen expressed their gratitude to Ms Anderson for cleverly creating a mural that reflected the rich history of Rutherglen.

“We wish to acknowledge the outstanding talents of muralist Kirrily Anderson completing a commission for Arts Rutherglen for the second time,” Ms Webster said.