“The Wider Circle” is for anyone who has an interest in our path through life’s travails, the triumph of the human spirit, and beauty beyond the merely literal. Taking ideas of form and content from Dante, James Sale weaves a magical recreation of what Hell (HellWard), Purgatory (StairWell) and Heaven (DoorWay) mean for a contemporary audience; the three parts form the whole of The English Cantos. The poet and artists involved in The Wider Circle project hope to create a new appreciation of Dante’s sublime work, not just through passive appreciation, but with a re-creation in new artistic endeavours; both paying homage to Dante, whilst also treading fresh ground.
The journey into hell and out again to light is not for one person, but for all souls. It is the journey we must make to discover who we really are. Whilst creating The English Cantos, James has been overwhelmed not only by the incredible support for his effort, but also by the responses. Artists, poets, cinematographers, and novelists have all bent their efforts to unveiling a little more of the world depicted in The English Cantos. The first Wider Circle exhibition was held in the aftermath of Covid in 2020 with an online exhibition, poetry readings, interviews and even a game.
This online gallery is designed to showcase examples of the art created in response to HellWard, StairWell and DoorWay - The English Cantos written by James Sale. You can enjoy work by artists Mark Burden, Angela Perrett, Linda Sale and Judith Warbey.