Sunday, 26 September 2021

Artists' 100 lilies for Oscar Wilde have been turned into a bouquet

Artists' 100 lilies for Oscar Wilde have been turned into a bouquet

A FLORAL tribute to Oscar Wilde has gone on display at Reading Museum.

“Lilies for Oscar Wilde” is an installation of 100 lily-like flowers created by artists and makers from the Reading area to mark the author and playwright’s birthday on October 16.

Organisations involved in the project included the Reading Guild of Artists, Two Rivers Press, Jelly and Whiteknight’s Trail.

Once completed, the lilies were fashioned into an eye-catching bouquet by award-winning florist Marc Allridge.

This was initially displayed by Haslams estate agents in Friar Street but can now be viewed at the museum in neighbouring Blagrave Street.

One of the artists who contributed to the project was Ahmad Alazami, who is originally from the Syrian capital of Damascus.

He said: “I wanted to represent the feelings and situation of people living in a war-torn country. I was honoured and delighted to be part of this exciting project to honour and celebrate Oscar Wilde, who endured much in his life.”

Anthony Wilder, chair of the Reading Guild of Artists, said: “I was delighted to work with so many talented people from a range of organisations who really took this project to their hearts and let their imagination flow, producing a diverse range of styles of ‘flowers’.

“I truly believe this was a unique tribute and worthy of Oscar Wilde’s flair and creativity. I would urge visitors to visit Reading Museum to see the bouquet for themselves.

“Thank you again to Reading Museum for hosting the bouquet to enable even more people to have the opportunity to see it. I would also encourage them to visit the 100 lilies Facebook page to find out more about some of the artists involved.”

The installation is showing in the museum’s box room until Tuesday, February 6. Opening hours are 10am to 4pm, Tuesday to Saturday, and admission to the museum is free.

A spokesman for the museum said: “Many of these stunning works are for sale. Find a unique gift for Valentine’s Day or keep a touch of Oscar magic by bidding for one of the lilies before the end of the exhibition. Proceeds will go to the artists’ chosen local charity, Launchpad.”

A blind auction is now under way. Interested parties can fill out a form in the box room and place their bid in the drop box.

Bidding closes on Wednesday, February 7, and successful bidders will be contacted the following day.

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