Alighieri, jewelry

“Inspired by his odyssey, I imagined these characters in gold, wrapped around my neck, and weaving their way through my fingers, as I read.

Alighieri is a collection of jewellery inspired by Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy; each piece corresponds to one of the poet’s 100 poems. As the pilgrim journeys through the realms of Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise, he encounters mythical creatures, scraggy landscapes, and terrifying demons.

“London-based, Rosh Mahtani studied French and Italian at Oxford University. Upon graduating in 2012, she was inspired to create modern heirlooms, born from the literature she had studied: Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy, in particular.” […]    –from the Alighieri “About” page

Cartoonist Steve Bell’s “Brexit Hell”

Steve-Bell-Brexit-Hell-Cartoons-TreacheryIn early December 2018 British cartoonist Steve Bell published a series of Dante-inspired images in his If… cartoon strip. Adapting Doré’s illustrations of Cocytus (with one addition from the Malebolge), Bell’s cartoons comment on the Parliamentary Debate over Brexit. Contributor Nick Havely glosses, “[the cartoons] depict Theresa May’s journey through ‘Brexit Hell’ accompanied by Arlene Foster (leader of the N. Ireland ultra-Protestant DUP on whom May is dependent for her majority). The Dantean sequence began on 29 November and seems to have culminated last Thursday [6 December] in an encounter with Trump as Lucifer.”

The If… cartoons can be viewed on The Guardian‘s website at the following links: Nov 29, Dec 3, Dec 4, Dec 5, and Dec 6.

Contributed by Nick Havely

“Just another day in Brexitland hell”

Covering the failed attempt to topple British PM Theresa May in a no-confidence vote on Dec. 12, 2018, John Crace compared the chaos over May’s Brexit deal to Dante’s hell. In the digital edition of the paper, the photo of the prime minister (below) was captioned: “Just another day in Brexitland hell for Theresa May.”

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At the end of the piece, Crace comments, “The reality was that nothing had changed. Nothing had changed. May’s Brexit deal was no more likely to get through the Commons than it had been before the vote. If anything positions had hardened. The EU would not be coming to her rescue. All the future offered was more deadlock, more division. Dante was wrong. There was a tenth circle of hell and we were in it. Government as mindless light entertainment.” — John Crace, “Tory headbangers save the Maybot – for the time being at least,” The Guardian, Dec. 12, 2018

Contributed by Nick Havely

Alexander McQueen’s 1996 Show Dante

inferno-book-alexander-mcqueen-1996“Taking place at Christ Church in Spitalfields (Isabella Blow was obsessed with the idea that it’s architect, Nicholas Hawksmoor, was a Satanist), Alexander McQueen’s 1996 show Dante was a controversial comment on religion, war and innocence that mixed crucifixes with corsets and had models sticking their tongues out in church. It was a show that McQueen himself, as well as many others, have referenced over and over again, but without the phenomenon of social media, backstage shots never made it into the public eye. In a new book Inferno: Alexander McQueen, published by Laurence King, exclusive, never-before-seen photographs front and backstage are revealed for the very first time. These will be published alongside rare interviews with Lee’s friends, peers and colleagues, and includes contributions from Suzy Menkes, Katy England, Andrew Groves (McQueen’s partner at the time), as well as the models, stylists and designers who helped create the dramatic show.” — Felicity Kinsella for i-D on vice.com

“Internal Inferno,” Issue Three of Teeth Magazine (UK)

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“These awe-inspiring photographers, writers, stylists, artists, musicians and models manifest an electric, celestial world that uncovers today’s limitless counterculture with forthright and subversive depictions of sex, style, anatomy, nature, religion, and contemporary connections. Each uninhibited story in this issue takes you on an unconventional, intercontinental journey that will tease you, please you and possibly leave you searching for water in a desperate bid to quench the flames.” — Teeth Magazine

Dante’s Inferno: A Modern Telling, by Craft Theatre (2015)

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“‘For the people tired of the same money generating schemes on the West End. For the people who crave different kinds of honesty from their theatre. For the people who have never connected to any theatre. For the people who search. For the people who question. For the people who struggle. For the 99%.’ These are the bold and powerful claims that Rocky Rodriguez Jr. makes in his director’s note for Dante’s Inferno: A Modern Telling. Staged in the warehouse-like Rag Factory, we meet Dante who is unfulfilled, demoralised and trapped in the rat race, and what’s more he can see no means of escaping his nihilistic existence. Craft Theatre intersperses Dante Alighieri’s original text with sections penned by John Cage, Rocky Rodriguez Jr, and the ever topical Russell Brand. This modern day retelling of Dante’s suffering and quest for redemption still feels as applicable to present day society as when Dante first wrote it, if not more so.” — Review by Ruby-isla Cera-Marle, A Younger Theatre (January 21, 2015)

Learn more at the Craft Theatre Blog.

Rachel Owen’s Inferno Illustrations

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Image from the Pembroke College Twitter feed

Rachel Owen: The Inferno Illustrations displays 34 photographic prints of mixed-media collage works, created in response to the Inferno in the Divine Comedy, a 14th century poem by the Italian poet Dante. This exhibition marks the culmination of Rachel Owen’s (1968 – 2016) lifelong academic and artistic engagement with the text.

“The Cardiff-born printmaker studied Fine Art and Italian at the University of Exeter and painting at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence. She attained a PhD in the ‘History of Illuminated Manuscripts of Dante’s Commedia’ at the University of London in 2001. Until her death in December 2016, she taught Italian Literature in Pembroke, and at other colleges within the University of Oxford.” — Pembroke College Events

The exhibition of Owen’s work at the Pembroke College JCR Art Gallery ran from October 18 to December 1, 2017.

The Divine Comedy, Barons Court Theatre (2017)

Dantes-Divine-Comedy-Barons-Court-Theatre“It’s Dante lite, but the adaptation hasn’t diminished the spirit of the original nor the theological arguments although it’s cut them down a bit. Sometimes, to speed thing up they revert  to modern dialogue and fruity language with a few  witty touches. We know when they’ve arrived in purgatory as there’s underground station sign, and when they set off for Paradise they go on the underground, strap hanging and swaying as they sing and wonder what awaits them there.

“It’s an ambitious undertaking in limited surroundings with only sticks and chairs for props, but it’s the genius use of lighting and shadows that really carries it off. An angel sprouts wings, a balloon become a head and speaks, and with some cardboard cut outs one of the sinners gets eaten by dogs. Later, instead of crossing the River Styx, Dante is carried through space with impressive use of what looks like footage from the Hubble Telescope and/or the International Space Station.” — Hammersmith Today review

Presented by So It Goes Theatre.

Read an interview with Artistic Director Douglas Baker here.

 

 

Laura Callaghan, Pick Me Up Graphic Arts Festival, 2015

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Contributed by Emily Hochman (Bowdoin, ’15)

Tim Dedopulos, “Dante’s Infernal Puzzle Collection” (2013)

91tu0J59qyL“Abandon all hope, all ye who enter here… Dante’s Infernal Puzzle Collection is a superb, original book filled with riddles, conundrums and brainteasers inspired by the epic poem the ‘Divine Comedy’. The reader must pit their wits against Satan himself on their quest to make it through all nine circles of Hell to Paradise! More than 100 extremely challenging puzzles are included, all themed and illustrated with superb line art, making this book all you need to get to puzzle Paradise…”    —Amazon