The William Blake / Dante’s Inferno Series
This piece is a combination of the “Journey’s beginning /New Dawn” and other works dealing with the historical crime of Simony. Simony is the crime of paying for sacraments and consequently for holy offices or positions in the hierarchy of a church, named after Simon Magus, who appears in the Acts of the Apostles 8:18-24. Simon Magus offers the disciples of Jesus, Peter and John payment so that anyone on whom he would place his hands would receive the power of the Holy Spirit. This is the origin of the term simony, but it also extends to other forms of trafficking for money in “spiritual things”. The modern culture is rife with examples of this behavior. In this composition, Smith has depicted the main figure as a combination of the bull and a man – the bull represents the true self being dropped into a vat of pitch with the worldly representation of self in the form of man. In this composition the figure is inverted and rather than starting the journey by choice is falling into the journey. The figure is passing through a ring of fire into the net set of events in the journey. Again on the right side of the composition, the external manifestation of change moves the figure into the journeys starting point.