E. Rutherford

The Shadow (1957)

Oil on canvas

60cm x 44.5cm

Police Museum

The artist ‘E. Rutherford’ remains an unknown figure, despite their clear signature on this painting entitled, The Shadow. In it, images of violence are depicted on the iconic gable wall, so often associated with the conflict in Northern Ireland. Intriguingly, this piece pre-dates the period known as ‘The Troubles’ and is representative of the conflict that permeated in the region throughout the 20th century. It is unclear whether the image portrays a physical mural or is instead symbolic of the shadows of division. For decades, Northern Ireland’s gable walls have been used as canvases to commemorate the dead, mark territory and to create visions of peace.