Another Story | by Allegra Murray
Some of the first flowers Allegra Murray created were donated to the Milton Public Library to be used as centerpieces during a Jane Austen tea. Handcrafted from upcycled book pages, these roses planted the seeds for Allegra to bloom as an artist.
This little succulent requires no water to remain green. The painted leaves were made from upcycled “Pride and Prejudice” book pages. If you look closely, you may see the names of some of your favorite characters from the classic Jane Austen novel.
This laceleaf (or anthurium) plant reminds us of some of the similarities between houseplants and books. As plants are known to enhance our daily lives through their beauty and stress-reducing abilities, so to does reading a good book! Standing at approximately 20” in height from the bottom of the base to tip, this bookish plant is currently on display at the Library. Stop by the Circulation Desk anytime in July to see it in person.
These whimsical lilies appear to be crowding together for the camera’s attention. A glistening gold button replaces a stigma in the center of each flower; otherwise, the bees might confuse them with the more fragrant version.
In 2020, we found ourselves suffering and in need of hope: physically, spiritually and emotionally. Much like our collective psyche last year, the base of my piece is a book with a broken spine, needing support from outside sources to continue to function as it once did; however, there is hope. Through my piece “Hope Blooms 2021,” a rose, created from the pages of the same damaged book, appears to have burst through the publication. A symbiotic relationship, the rose would not exist without being given pages from the book, and the book would no longer have use without providing support to the flower. My wish is that my piece reminds the viewer that we should build upon the lessons we learned in 2020 and use them to bloom in 2021 and beyond.
“When a reader thinks of a favorite book, the mind goes to the complex characters, the unforgettable settings, or the timeless story woven throughout the pages. Once the last page has been read, the book is closed and it is placed back on the shelf where it remains until it is taken out again. Through my exhibit, “Another Story,” I wish to celebrate the pages within the book which are so often hidden away when not being read. The used book pages, having been transformed into beautiful plants and flowers, bloom with the names, places, and quotes that rekindle the memory of a beloved tome.”
Allegra Murray started creating paper flowers in 2017 when she made book page flower centerpieces for a Jane Austen themed tea at the Milton Public Library. Since that time, Ms. Murray’s plants and flowers have been featured in publications including: The Patriot Ledger, The Milton Times, South Shore Home, Life and Style Magazine and Gladys Magazine.
In 2021, her sculptures were included in several exhibits including the Scituate Arts Association’s Annual Juried Show and the Art Center East’s “In Bloom” exhibit, at which her piece “Hope Blooms 2021” was awarded honorable mention.
Ms. Murray is originally from Long Island, New York and currently resides in Milton, Massachusetts with her husband and two sons. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Classical Vocal Performance from Manhattan School of Music and a Master of Science in Arts Administration from Boston University.
For commissions and more information about Allegra Murray’s artwork, please visit her website at ThePetalPeddlersShop.com or on Facebook/Instagram @thepetalpeddlersshop.
`Would you tell me,' said Alice, a little timidly, `why you are painting those roses?'
Inspired by the chapter eight of “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” this rose appears to have been hastily painted by the gardeners. Still dripping with red paint, the flower created from Lewis Carroll’s children’s book, appears as though the Red Queen interrupted a work in progress.
Appropriately made from book pages from “The Secret Garden,” this arrangement of roses are painted in shades of pink, purple, yellow, and blue. The butterflies, also made from book pages, take flight to remind us of the magical journey on which books may transport the reader.
Sometimes, the smallest details take the most time. Taking approximately three hours to create, each individual flower was drawn, cut painted and assembled. The sprig rests delicately upon the side of the vase, perhaps in repose from its creation.
images and text © 2021 Allegra Murray