Digital, 2016

The dark catacombs beneath the Earth are places of fear for us mortals, and always have been. They represent the unknown – locations where we may encounter threats beyond anything we see in our everyday lives on the surface – but also, in our traditions, sites of suffering and damnation.

Tall stone archways show that this is a place that has not developed naturally. It has been created, though whether by human or other hands we cannot know. Gloom pervades every corner, but red and orange hues suggest that this is none other than the dread state we so often associate with an underworld – Hell itself. Flames indicate a source of eternal torture for the damned.

But there are writers such as Lovecraft who associate an afterlife of pain not with fire and brimstone, but with intense, biting cold. A lone figure in this image is falling from the red glow of heat into what seem to be green freezing depths. Is there any choice? If so, will this grim event merely change one form of everlasting torment for something even worse?

Text: Richard Hayes