To encapsulate and summarise the 14,233 lines of Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy in a small number of paragraphs or collection of photographs would be an ambitious feat for the very best of writer or photographer. A journey through Inferno’s dark circles, up the mountain of Purgatory to the poem’s finale in the Earthly Paradise, it’s a story of love, loss and hope.
Written between the years 1308 to 1320, Dante was an individual committed to cause and study. Taking the role of writing a progressive epic on the religious scale it encounters, his authoritative voice could be perceived as arrogance as much as devotion.
From the consumerism of today’s culture to the potential decay of tomorrow, Dante’s Divine Comedy, like the art forms inspired by it, are an exploration of poetic justice and the plotting of coordinates by an ever-changing moral compass.
Awakening is a collection of photographs by Eliška Kyselková that strives to plot one of these coordinates. Shot almost exclusively on film, the renaissance inspired results were developed with light leaks to capture the atmosphere that surrounds the realms of heaven and hell.
Taking the raw emotion Dante effortlessly weaved into his work, suffering is expressed through Inferno, Purgatorio travels through adversity up to the final, beautiful balance of Paradiso. With each section rich in visual depth and tied to Dante’s linguistic symbolism, Awakening is an exquisite progression through the human condition.
Eliška Kyselková is a London-based, Czech Republic fashion and portrait photographer and is a talented young, emerging artist making head waves in the UK scene and abroad with her stylish representations of design and commentary on social abundance, consumerism and modern ideals of beauty.