Tuesday 26 October 2021, 5.30-8pm: Dante: libri nuovi

This is a public lecture and exhibition on Dante and visual culture held at the University of Bristol in the Arts Complex, Humanities Lecture Theatre, 7 Woodland Road, Bristol BS8 1TB.

The event will include a selection of short talks and the launch of a new collection of artists’ books specially commissioned for this event.

5.30-7.00pm: this will be a seated event in a large capacity Lecture Theatre with short talks and presentations.

7.00-8.00pm: wine reception and exhibition of artists’ books

Short talks include:

Dr Peter Dent (History of Art, University of Bristol): ‘Dante in Clifton’, drawing on the work of 19th-century Bristolian, John Addington Symonds, whose archive is held in the University Special Collections

Dr David Bowe (School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, University College Cork): ‘A Pilgrim’s-Eye View: Rachel Owen’s Illustrations for Dante’s Inferno’, celebrating the recent publication of David’s edited volume, Rachel Owen, ‘Illustrations for Dante’s Inferno’ [Please note that this talk will be delivered via Zoom]

Dante: libri nuovi – new Dante inspired artists’ books

To mark this anniversary year eight artists were invited to produce a new book each in response to the poet’s life and works. Books as a primary medium in contemporary art practice make for a particularity of experience, one in which the reader may be especially aware of the materiality, structure and mechanisms of the book in their hands.

For this project the approaches taken by the artists have been manifold. Their diverse practices are manifested in the books, which in turn reflect their own reading and interpretations of Dante. Aesthetic and conceptual considerations have led to some works having a formal simplicity whilst others are highly elaborate, with the set of eight books representing a wide range of print and constructional techniques.

There will be an introductory talk by Dr John McDowall (artist, School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies, University of Leeds): ‘Dante: libri nuovi – new Dante inspired artists’ books’, followed by artist-led presentations.

The participating artists are: Kate Bernstein, Ian Bottle, Prerna Chandiramani, Judy Goldhill, Sophie Loss, John McDowall, Carolyn Trant and Martín Vitaliti.

For further information on the artists, please navigate to the ‘Artists’ page above.


The event is free to attend, but booking is required via Eventbrite: please click here. Numbers are limited and tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Participants are required to follow University of Bristol Covid guidelines.